My dad's mother lived almost her entire life in a small, rural community about 100 miles east of Pensacola, FL. She modeled what it meant to stay strong in the face of adversity. She loved God and her family. Life wasn't easy for Grandma Burke but I remember her biscuits, her laugh and her hugs.
My mom's mother lived nearest to us and influenced my life in so many wonderful ways. Grandma Miller had grown up on a farm in Indiana. She and her brother, Martin, had amazing stories of adventure that would invariably leave us all in stitches as they recounted their childhood.
Uncle Martin continued to live in Indiana while Grandma married a young man and moved to FL. They saw one another sporadically but when they did get together, you could see the love and admiration they had for one another.
Their shared stories of remembrance seldom turned to the darker experiences of their lives: abandoned by their father; raised by a lonely mother; shunned by the local community; required to leave school after fourth grade in order to help with whatever work they could find. No, those stories were never talked about. They chose instead to focus on the rich love of their mother; the good work ethic she taught them; the laughter they enjoyed during humble meals.
Grandma worked many different jobs through the years. So I always knew her as a working woman. She drove a cute little tan VW bug for many of those years and she liked to drive fast. (I'm sure "fast" is a relative term. We are talking about my grandma after all and I was never with her when she got the speeding tickets.)
There were three words I often heard Grandma use when she was driving. Zip. Shoot. Scoot. She would say something like, "Hold on now, Sheri. I like to ZIP around the corner so people behind me can make the light, too." Other times she would say, "I'm going to SHOOT over to the grocery store. Do you want to go with me?" Then we would hear, "Alice Marie, let's SCOOT down to the sub shop and grab a sandwich."
Grandma was always on the move and she didn't like wasting time!
I believe her desire to work hard and to keep moving was mostly a result of those growing up years. But Grandma's genuine love for life, her ready smile and infectious laughter were the hallmarks that have stayed with me. As I drove home from my office recently in my only little red compact, I was reminded of the three words I so often heard her use and I had to smile.
This post is rather short but I've waited a long time to say:
- I hope you'll zip through all your difficult moments this week.
- Thanks for shooting over here to read.
- Be sure to scoot back by next week for a fresh look at basic thoughts.
Blessings to you and yours!