My Granny became a grandmother at a very young age. She was only 17 when my Daddy was born, and he was a young 20 when I was born. So a young woman by today’s standards, became Granny at a tender age of only 37 years old. I was given a writing assignment when I was a senior in high school to write about someone who I admired. It was not difficult for me to decide who to write about. My grandmother was admired by many and I adored her. I remember my teacher telling me that I should let my grandmother read my paper. I regret that never happened. I am pretty sure that Granny knew how dear she was to me though. I have so much to say about this woman who was such large part of who I am today. It didn’t all fit in that high school essay, and it certainly won’t fit in a simple blog post. It might fit into a book, if it was long enough…
I remember Granny and Grandaddy had a license plate on their car that said, “Let me tell you about my grandkids”. My sister wrote a fabulous article years later, “Let me tell you about my grandparents”. Now it is my turn. My grandmother joined her church I imagine about the time she married my grandfather. This would have been right before he enlisted in the Army. He was soon sent to the front in Europe in WWII. During the time that he was away, she lived with her in-laws. My father was born during my grandfather’s absence. The tiny church that Granny went to with her mother in-law, Big Mama ,would become her church home for her entire life. I had the surprise pleasure to find a letter that Granny wrote to Grandaddy when she was only about 16 years old. The faith that I saw reflected on that page was mature beyond her tender age. The faith that she wore as her daily clothing was very honest and present in the writings of that 16-year-old girl.
Grandaddy returned from the war and Granny didn’t want to hear about his life there, I’m told. I can only imagine the fear that she lived with for those 2 years. They raised their family across the field from my great-grandparents. Over the years, my Granny served her family and her community faithfully. While we didn’t go to her church as regulars, we were welcomed there for Vacation Bible School and Sunday School when she took us. She so loved to show off her “monkeys”! I still love me some Southern Baptist Gospel music! Songs like “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “Deep and Wide” will surely make me want to “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus”! When I pass old churches around where I live now, I look to see if they have “picnic tables” made of concrete slabs and cinder blocks. I feel like I have drunk gallons of red Kool Aid around those tables in the shade of those old trees beside Blue Eye Baptist Church! I can hardly stand to drive by a church when they host an “all day singing”! I just know that there is a church matron there managing the fellowship hall kitchen and the incoming dishes of food. I also am pretty sure there are some “blue haired ladies” sitting in their favorite spots. The spot that everybody knows is her’s because she leaves her tissues there from week to week.
I’m grateful for these and many other precious memories. I’m glad I’m not a young grandmother; but she has set the bar pretty high when the Lord thinks it is time for me to love on a grandchild. I’m sure I’ll have me a license plate that will reflect my grandparent personality! Thank you Millie Vincent. I miss you still.