Pictured above are my grandmother’s hands – cooking breakfast for some of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as we all made a surprise visit to her home for her 90th birthday. Little did she know, we had a whole surprise party planned in her honor. My father, my daughter and I drove from Texas to Alabama, arriving at her house at 2:00 in the morning. When we came through the door, the first thing she said was, “There’s food on the stove.” What is it about grandma’s that always want to make sure that you eat? LOL! They especially want to make sure that you are feeding their grandchildren – don’t you let their grand-babies starve!
Grandma’s hands… symbolic of strength, protection, and a nurturing force. An extension of grace. An overflowing fountain of candy and peppermints. A means of discipline when you get a little bit out of hand. But most importantly a willing vessel that God works through to spread his loving kindness, comfort, compassion, mercy and grace.
Growing up, my grandmother lived in Indiana while my brother and I lived in Texas. We visited her when we had vacations from school. She had a basement, which was totally cool and my cousin and I had a lot of great times down there doing cousin things. We had three meals a day. We had chores to do. We had to shuck corn. We had to pick switches off the tree when we didn’t obey – LOL! She made me eat my black eyed peas (well I used to sneak and put them in the trash – hehhehe). She is in her 90’s now, and she has made it to every graduation that her nine grandchildren have ever had. She was at my wedding 11 months ago! She lives and she gets around with no excuses. I am so blessed!
For African-American women who lack support of a partner, grandmothers are usually the ones to step in and offer stable support, especially in the area of child care. Not only grandmothers, but grandparents play a vital role in the lives of their grandchildren. In the African-American community, grandparents are usually respected by their grandchildren as having a position of authority, they play an active role in discipline, assist financially and sometimes act as a secondary parent. They are often relied on by parents to step up in the time of need.
I’m so grateful that my parents are still here and that my daughter has such a great relationship with them. She always seems to enjoy their time together and it seems like she has way more exciting adventures with them than I had as a kid – LOL.
A grandmother who is strong in her faith will communicate her faith in Jesus Christ and pray diligently. Grandmother’s pray and they act as an intercessor for their grandchildren and their families. My grandmother prays. Some of us are still alive because of the many prayers they have offered up. Some of us are still reaping the blessings that they have prayed for. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Grandmothers love unconditionally and with fairness. My cousins and I could argue all day about who is my grandmother’s favorite, but my grandmother has never treated us any different. As a matter of fact, I think there were a few times we shared the same punishment and only one of us did the crime – LOL. Her heart has always been big enough to share with her children, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. They teach us about the love of Christ by showing us the love of Christ. His love doesn’t discriminate or show favoritism. It’s fair and it’s just and its offered equally to everyone. She shows the same love that God has shown her. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12
Grandmother’s set limits and offer correction when necessary. They teach sound, biblical principals and help us to develop good morals. They teach right from wrong and the importance of doing things correctly the first time around. Back when I was growing up we didn’t act up too bad around my grandmother because we knew she had no problem making us go outside to pick a switch off of the tree. Grandmothers still believe in the saying, ‘it takes a village to raise a child.” They are an intricate part of that village. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Grandmother’s leave a legacy. Children benefit from the wisdom and positive influences of grandmothers; they thrive in the loving atmosphere that they offer. There is a unique relationship that can’t be explained. The stories that they share, the hymns that they sing (yes, my grandmother still hums and sings hymns), the hugs and kisses that they give, the positive words that they speak – they remain for years to come, when grandmother’s are no longer here. As grandchildren we remember; we do not forget! We hold them close to our hearts. We share them with our children. We hold on to them when we have nothing else. “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” Proverbs 13:22… I attended a funeral once. The son spoke and stated how his parents had left him an inheritance – but he was not speaking of a financial inheritance. He was speaking of an inheritance of faith. The deposits of faith that my grandmother has made into her children definitely lives on through their children and their children’s children.
I wrote this blog inspired by my grandmother, but as I was writing I couldn’t help but to think about my mother who is also a grandmother or a “MiMi” as she likes to be called. I am grateful for the spiritual investments that she has made into my daughter and the lessons of moral value that she has handed down.
Grandmothers are pretty awesome blessings – a little bit parent, a little bit teacher – a little bit bestfriend!