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Can You Hear Me Now?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Under the Influence

My Grandmother popped into my head today. Well that’s not exactly how it happened. I was thinking about ordering some Avon nail polish (gotta love those summer shades), and that made me think of my Grandmother…My dad’s mom. She loved Avon…I never understood why she didn’t sell it. I’ll bet she spent $200 a month on Avon…a lot of money even now…imagine how much more back in the 60’s-70’s.

My Grandma babysat at the biggest church in Augusta, Ks, but also babysat most every child within a 10 mile radius, from birth til they were in school. She was called Grandma by so many children, I finally got ‘wicked mean’ and informed some of those kids, she was MY Grandma, not theirs! In my defense, it gets old sharing your Grandma with hundreds of other children…especially under the age of 10.

The older I got the more I saw how she shared her WHOLE life (time, talent & treasure) with all these children. It was like a Hallmark commercial at Christmas with all the cards and letters she would receive from all these ‘children’, thanking her for her role in their lives. As they grew and had families of their own she would watch their children, until she became too ill to care for them.

I used to spend summers with my Grandma. We lived in Colorado, so I'd come out in early June and stay til August. My grandma taught me so much during those summers I spent with her.

She taught me how to do laundry. We would go to the local ‘fluff n’ fold’ every week to wash the laundry, then bring it home to hang on the line (there is nothing like the smell of sun dried sheets). I think I got paid like seventy-five cents a week and a lunch at Taco Tico for helping. We’d sit and talk during the wash cycles, then add the fabric softener at the right time and I’d help her load those wet clothes back into her car for the trip home.

She also taught me about the Bible. The first story she read me was about Ruth. It was her favorite book of the Bible. She’d read to me the stories or have me read them to her.

She taught me how to babysit. I’d help her babysit some Sunday’s before I got old enough to sit in the sanctuary or join the choir. She taught me how to rock and pat a baby (just so) to sleep. She taught me how to teach children with love…not fear. She taught me to value each individual child and see them as individuals. She taught me that children do not all learn or respond identically and not to expect that.

Grandma died a number of years ago. I couldn’t attend her funeral. It made it too real. I miss her every summer or when I see a grandmother rocking a baby or when I see a clothes line full of clothes…I miss her.

I’m proud that she had a hand in making me who I am today! I guess I’m to be reminded that we are under the influence of many things/people we encounter…some of them are good…and some of them are not so good!

Here's to our Grandma's, may you be under their influence!


Dawn said...

She sounds absolutely wonderful. I hope I'm that kind of grandma. Now I understand even more how much you would love to be a mom - you had a great role model.

Re your previous post - my word, what kind of church is that???

kpjara said...


I know you are the BEST grandma, based on what I read...and my previous post...just a culmination of experiences, thankfully nothing from ONE church experience.