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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Story- My Righteous Grandmother

My grandma, I called Grandma T from the very beginning. She said that I wasn't able to say Theresa. Growing up I never saw her with a man. My grandfather had passed away before I was born. She remained a widow for 20 years. I felt quite sad that she didn't have anyone, but I now realize that she did- she had Jesus. 

Visiting her home was very humbling. She often had soup on the stove, her bible on the table, and her crochet needles and yarn by her rocking chair. Her house was always cold because she lived on a very tight budget. Any time I left her house she would say to me, "Always remember Jesus loves you."  

Grandma T's Praying Hands
Her Christmas gifts were always something she had made by hand. As a child I did not appreciate her gifts, and often buried them in a drawer and forgot about them completely. Even at the end of her days in a nursing home, she kept her hands busy. She did ceramics and crafted many praying hands. The hands that she gifted me, I still have to this day. They remind me that prayer is important and to trust that Jesus is always with me. I now see my life as a living prayer and do my best to pass on to my children the importance of prayer.

I was 9 years old when my father left. Grandma T took the leading role as a spiritual guide and disciplinary figure. She was a robust woman whom worked most of her life. She was a retired nurse and often there would be a sick or injured neighbor at her house in need of care. I rarely went to the doctor because most of the time I was sent to Grandma T's. Seeing as we were dirt poor (my mom on public aide, food stamps, and disability) we simply could not afford visits to the doctor. 

After retiring, Grandma T worked part-time at her church as the secretary. She also played the piano during Sunday morning services. Her love and dedication to the Lord sent her to prisons where she ministered to inmates about Jesus. Because of her I was in church a lot. I memorized the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17), The Beatitudes (Matthew 5), and The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) at a young age. To this day, I rely on these passages when I am scared, in need of protection, or reassurance. 

My last visit with my grandmother was in the nursing home. She absolutely glowed when she saw my face. She said I had turned out to be a fine, beautiful young woman. That meant a lot to me. In the end, she was the foundation for my spiritual discipline and her faith in the Lord became my pillar that got me through some of the hardest times in my life. In my eyes, she was a saint. She helped the less fortunate, preached to the nonbelievers, and loved Jesus more than anyone I've ever met (except for me).