Tuesday, October 07, 2014

A Lesson from Grandmama's Ladies

This morning I dropped my children off at school at 7:45 then pointed my car South for the 2 1/2 hour drive to my hometown. The occasion was a ladies' luncheon honoring my Grandmama's 90th birthday. 
Grandmama had made it clear to our large extended family that she wanted this milestone to be clelebrated by the ladies of her Sunday School class at the First Baptist Church. 

The fellowship hall was reserved, the country captain and peach pie were ordered and I offered to serve as florist and photographer in exchange for permission to attend. 

I expected it to be a sweet time to honor my Grandmama, but I left feeling unexpectedly blessed by the lessons her friends taught me by their love for one another.

This Sunday School class has been Grandmama's home since my elementary school days. 

She has known some of the women since they were children together growing up in the same neighborood.

There are only 18 remaining members and their average age is 89.

Truly, they have seen each other through A LOT of life--and their interactions with one another displayed that connection.

I had planned to take a photograph of Grandmama with each of her guests, standing in a pretty corner of the room. But, the shot that always seemed to trump the formal posed ones, was the candid I snapped as they greeted each other. So many sweet and sincere expressions of care for one another.

My Grandmama is extremely hard of hearing. If you yell at just the right tone into her ear she can sometimes hear what is being communicated, but for the most part we rely on the written word. It was heartwarming to watch these women honor that deficit by each showing up with a handwritten card expressing their wishes.  

And when it came time for the more formal portion of the luncheon, the president of her Sunday School class handed Grandmama her own copy of the devotion and prayer requests so she had a built in version of closed captioning. It was such a thoughtful gesture that communicated "we know you."

Her pastor prayed and spoke of her faithfulness in attendance and service even when she could not longer hear the message. It was the first time I had really considered this aspect of her life/character.

I thought of the stark contrast of so many (myself included) who are quick to quit something that no longer serves OUR needs. Grandmama isn't cut from that cloth. She is loyal. She keeps showing up.

Indeed, these are her friends, her community, the family she chose...and they certainly love each other well. As I climbed back into my car for the return trip home, my heart was grateful for their beautiful example of loyal friendship, kindness and care.

We can learn a lot from the wise women who have gone before us...even when they aren't formally trying to teach us at all.


Arlene Grimm said...

JMom, this is so precious. What an example for all of us...as I am getting older I appreciate the faithfulness of the octogenarian crowd.

Debra said...

Ahhh, so so sweet.... this simple post touched my heart and made me cry!! (tears of gratefulness of the examples God has given us!!) Thank you Jennifer!

Keri said...

This is simply beautiful, in every way! It has been a busy week and I'm behind in reading the few blogs that I follow faithfully, but I'm glad that I took the time to catch up this afternoon. Having this sweet story -- with the even sweeter photos -- to inspire me at the end of the week is a wonderful treat!