such a gift

So today I visited my grandmother. She has been in the hospital all week and this was my first chance to go and see her. It was a wonderful visit and the good news is she will probably be able to return home tomorrow.

But sitting there with her today I started thinking.

She is now 84 and with each passing year I admire her even more. She inspires me. No matter how sick, how tired, how stressed she gets – it doesn’t matter, because when you are with her she focuses her attention completely on you. What an incredible grace that takes.

She is patient and generous, loving and kind and yet so very strong. Her eyes tell it all. Those blue eyes that are now older and tired from years of hard work, still have an endearing sparkle. I see my father in them – he shared those same blue eyes. The only child out of her eight that had her eyes.

She grew up in a textile town, lived through the depression, and married the boy from down the street. She raised 7 boys and a girl, and worked in a factory where she spent long hours as a seamstress. She worried over three sons sent to Vietnam, over the declining health of her husband and family, and cared for a paraplegic son. And she said goodbye as her husband and three of her sons have passed away.

Somehow my visits with her always uplift me… make me feel that no matter what I’m going through everything will be okay. She always assures me that I have a family to come home to. And especially now since my father is gone, she never forgets to tell me how proud he was of me. That is such a gift – she is such a gift.

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