My Grandma T. recently celebrated her 90th birthday. To help celebrate, all of her kids, many of her grandkids, a niece and nephew from North Dakota, and many church friends gathered in person yesterday. Her grandkids that couldn’t be there in person joined her via Skype from Delaware and Namibia. There were also tons of cards and well-wishes from all over, and through every form of communication. It was a wonderful and special day!
All of this celebrating got me to thinking though. How many stories does my Grandma have to tell? Anyone who knows her, knows that she loves to talk. She has stories a plenty, whether they are completely accurate or not, well… whose going to argue with Grandma?
By turning 90 this summer, we can discern from history that Grandma has seen and experienced:
- The Great Depression
- World War II
- She earned the first college degree in her family
- A long and happy marriage to Grandpa (who passed away in 2007)
- A long life as a pastor’s wife, church choir director and Bible Study leader
- The birth of four children
- Living in four different states
- A great career as a registered dietitian
- The weddings of three children
- The birth of five grandchildren
- The weddings of one grandchild
- Touching countless lives (no doubt in the thousands at this point, really!)
The list should be much longer, but if I kept going I wouldn’t know where to stop. In looking at these few overview points though, you can see how full of a life she is living. It’s no wonder then, really, why it’s never been a question if her kids or grandkids would go to college. It’s no wonder why most of her family is so active in leadership in the church and their congregations. We all grew up with that as the way things are.
Grandma, until the last ten years or so, was also an amazing cook and baker (time and age have taken a toll there.) I heard more stories about that yesterday from one of her nieces and nephews. She has always loved to entertain and host people, valuing hospitality, another trait that has been picked up by much of her family.
The ways she lives, loves, and is not afraid to talk to anyone continues to be a great lesson for me. In that way, she values others and wants to hear their stories. She might drive us crazy sometimes with some of her perspectives, but deep down we always know what she does and says is out of love. She wants to keep learning and thinking and never backs down from a question or conversation.
Even at her age, I don’t know someone who reads the Bible and devotionals more often (except for maybe my Grandma S.). I’m grateful for both my grandma’s, for their life, love, faith and family. But also for their hopes for us, for me, and for their constant support and love for all their families and all they meet.
Happy Birthday Grandma!