Thinking about a special role model, my great-grandma, Grammy D, born this day in 1899. She had a genuine faith, praying and reading her Bible daily, in spite of her poor vision, and late in life still kneeling to pray. Though I grew up far away, we had Grammy D's regular blue aerogrammes keeping us informed, and over her lifetime she must have sent thousands of cards to extended family-- special ones with a $1 bill for our birthdays. Her schooling ended around age 10 when her family emigrated from the Isle of Man to become homesteaders in Montana, but she always kept learning and was often more up-to-date on international current events than me. I saw her hospitality showered on family (tea and gingersnaps anyone?) but learned their home had always been a welcoming place. Her white braids across her head were such a strong image in my childhood, but now I also realize a little what it must have been like outliving her husband by almost 50 years, and the effort she put into cultivating friendships with people of all ages. I hope I stand tall and walk fast like her, who lived independently till age 101. I never heard her be critical or negative, and I loved her matter-of-fact outlook, such as when she got a microwave at age 90: "Well, I learned how to cook on a woodstove, and then an electric stove. I guess I can learn this now too." Her famous cinnamon rolls--she said they came about because money was no longer so tight and she had gotten bored with her chore of baking bread for her siblings and parents. And while others may have thought the train to the lumber mill going by her apartment was a nuisance, she said it brought back fond memories of the train bringing her husband back from logging. I'm so glad my kids got to know her before she died at 106, including her great-great-granddaughter namesake born a hundred years after her in March 1999.
Thanks to my sister, Kathleen, for letting me share this today.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Proverbs 31:25-28 ESV