Thursday, September 8, 2011

She Looks To You

This morning I had a doctor appointment. The appointment was near where my grandmother lives, so I decided to stop by for a visit after the appointment. To my surprise, as I was driving into her driveway, my grandparents were driving out. They saw me and turned around and came back. Grandma and I sat in the kitchen and started chatting.

The conversation began with the usual small talk and then deepened as we somehow got on the subject of her own parents. I immediately discovered that I don't know much about Grandma's family. I was very close to her little brother (growing up, he was like a grandpa to me), but other than that there's not much I know about. Grandma shared with me at her kitchen table today about how much of a hard worker her mother was. She worked well into her 70's before she retired. Unbelievably so, she assembled bobby pins and hair rollers. I will never look at either of these tools the same again.

I don't typically see very many tears make their way into my grandmother's eyes. Some people in my family say it does happen, but I can say without a doubt that I have not experienced much of it. The tears that I have seen were tears brought on by laughter. Today was a much different story. Today, as she talked about her mother I saw my grandma's eyes become glassy. She spoke of a time when her mother almost died due to an intestinal infection. She told me how her mother lay in that hospital bed and swore up and down that her son was coming in the door. This was a son who was out of the country serving in the military. My grandmother kept telling her over and over again that he wasn't there. He had been called since they didn't expect her to make it, but he wasn't there yet. No sooner had she said that for the fiftieth time did she point at the doorway only for my grandmother to turn around and see that her brother was indeed standing in that doorway! As my grandma told me this story today, her smile spread clear across her face. She simply stated, "Never mess with a mother's intuition." Yes, grandma... You are right. Now there are tears rolling down my cheeks.

My grandma then went on to tell me about my grandpa's failing health. She believes he has Alzheimer's. She battles with him every day about the daily tasks around the house. What was once routine to him is now becoming foreign and yet he gets angry when she tries to help. She spoke to me with such a heavy heart today. She wants to help. Grandma has always been a helper. As she said to me today, it's not in her blood to do nothing or ignore a situation when it's staring her in the face. She is committed to her husband no matter how sick he may be. No matter what kind of disease attacks him. No matter how many times he gets angry with her over car keys, remote controls or toothbrushes. She feels helpless though. As her eyes became glassy again, she said, "I just pray every day. I pray because that's all I can do."

As I traveled back home a song came on the radio that reminded me of grandma. The song is by Selah and it's called 'I Look To You.' There are many parts in the song that don't necessarily apply to Grandma, but some of the lyrics will forever remind me of grandma after today's sweet talk in the kitchen. Part of the chorus goes like this...

I look to you, I look to you
After all my strength is gone
In you I can be strong
I look to you, I look to you
And when the melodies are gone
In you, I hear a song.

At one point in our conversation about her mother, Grandma looked at me and said, "I just don't know how she did it all."

I think I know, grandma. I never knew her, really. But, after watching you and the kind of person that you are and the ways in which you draw your strength... I have to wonder if maybe she looked to the Lord for her strength and for her song just like you do! I will join you in praying, because that's "all we can do"... At least for now. I will also pray that you will continue to find your strength and your beautiful song in the Lord. You are an amazing person.... Someone I never stop learning from. The time we had today was precious and will remain in my heart for a long time.

I love you. ~

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