Some people leave an imprint on your soul that never leaves. Even if they do.
“Granny” was one of those people. I met her as a young adult dating her grandson. Immediately, I felt welcomed into her home and her life. Unbeknownst to me at the time, we would share some of the most sacred moments together.
Granny’s house symbolized her worldview. It served as a refuge or sanctuary from which her natural gifts of hospitality extended to others. The simplest comfort could be found in her cookie jar “hidden” on the top shelf in the lower kitchen cabinet next to the sink. Homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were the usual staple found in the round tin container.
Sometimes the hospitality went beyond cookies. Food became a central part of community around her table. Although family usually took their places in the chairs, a friend or neighbor often found their way too. Her meatloaf had its own reputation and it wasn’t just for the taste. https://stephaniejthompson.com/2018/01/17/why-eating-meatloaf-on-christmas-reminded-us-of-how-to-love-others/
One summer, I was blessed to join the lists of others who lived with her during seasons of transition in their lives. As my fiancee and I prepared to be life long partners, she said good-bye to hers. How do you thank someone for letting you enter one of the most vulnerable and painful rites of passage? I will never forget the lessons I learned about mourning, hope, and courage as we sat together on her kitchen floor that night.
None of us thought this woman would ever give in to her mortality. She served Meals on Wheels (was even nominated for Volunteer of the Year) until one month before her death at 97 years old. Yet, just as she did in life, she taught us lessons in death. We were blessed to share these moments with her. Despite, the tendency to push thoughts of death away, she taught us how to embrace it. Her hope extended beyond the earthly realm.
I write this on her birthday-August 12. There’s much to miss about her. But we say “toodaloo” for now. We will see her someday and her legacy is forever imprinted in our being. Her hands continue to shape others, even if she is no longer here.
What a blessing it is to partake in it.
For more on her life, visit here: https://www.redbudwritersguild.com/simple-beauty-planted-a-lasting-legacy/
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