A Reflection of my grandmother through my eyes
My Grandmother Ella Pearl, was one of the most extraordinary people, that I have ever had the privilege to meet. She was a remarkable woman. She left her mark on my heart every time we came into contact. I am certain she has left her mark on others as well.
One could not be in the presence of my grandmother, without feeling as if you had been entertained by an angel. She had a gift of ministering to you in every way possible. She was loving, kind, virtuous, and most of all a God fearing woman. I never heard her speak an ill word about anyone in all the 27 years that I had known her.
The qualities she possessed enriched my life beyond measure. Of all the people that God had placed in my life, I would have to say that grandma Ella enriched and impacted my life the most. If there ever was a person that I would model my life after, it would be grandma Ella.
Of course, we are to model Jesus Christ. He is our example of what we should strive to be like. If anyone ever came close to modeling Jesus, I would say it was my grandmother. She taught me so many things. She never drilled them into me, but rather taught me by example, by her day to day living.
The one thing I admired about her was her ability to treat people with the uttermost respect, no matter what their station in life was. She never looked down her nose at anyone. She treated everyone the same, saint or sinner.
She fed the hungry, and even those who were not. You could never visit my grandmother without her feeding you something. You would no sooner step inside the doorway, before she was cleaning out her refrigerator and heating up something. I don’t believe she was born with Amish blood, but you would think she was if you watched her. She always provided you with a complete buffet, which made you feel as if you were attending a royal banquet.
Sometimes it was comical just to watch her. She pulled out everything. The refrigerator looked empty by the time she was through. You could argue with her till doomsday that you were not hungry. You could tell her that there was no need to go to all this trouble, but it would fall on deaf ears. It was her way of being hospitable.
Grandmother wasn’t a wealthy woman the way the world views wealth. She was rich in spirit. She knew that everything that she had on earth belonged to God and was to be used to please Him. It never mattered to her if she was running low on something that day or that week, she always believed that God supplied her every need. When you sat down to eat, you always felt as if you were witnessing first hand the miracle of the two fishes and the five loaves of bread. No matter how much she had taken out of the refrigerator, I swear it seemed as if we put more back away than what we had taken out.
Grandmother loved to crochet. It seems as if crocheting has become a thing of the past. I used to love to sit and watch her. Her hands were never idle. I have witnessed her finish an entire afghan in a days time. Sometimes she would not even look down to see if it was being done right. She had taught herself the necessary skills needed to make the most delicate and intricate flowers that would make the recipient of this gift, a valuable treasure.
Psalms 90:16,17 says “ Let your work appear to your servants, and your glory to their children. Let the beauty of the Lord be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us, yes, establish the work of our hands.”
The work of grandmas hands were truly established in those afghans. God had given my grandmother such a gift. With every afghan she gave, the greatest part of the gift was the love that was entwined within each skein of yarn she crocheted.
Grandma was a very patient person. I can only recall one time when I saw my grandmother loose her patience. That great fall was bestowed upon her through the heinous acts of a hellish and provoking cousin. My cousin had relentlessly pushed every button possible that day with my grandmother. My three sisters and I, and three of my other cousins were spending the weekend at grandmas. Six girls at once. Makes a person wonder what my grandma was thinking? My grandmother however, loved her grandchildren. All twenty three of them. She also had forty great grandchildren, and when she passed on she had over 100 great-great grandchildren.
My grandmother was approximately 80 years old when this occurrence happened. All day long my cousin had been rebellious. That evening she had ensued an argument over who should sit where on the couch. She began by claiming that a certain space on the couch was hers. Then she took up the whole entire couch by sprawling her entire body across it. Needless to say, she had gotten on my grandmothers last nerve.
I know that jealousy played a big part in the mix , since we all vied for grandmas attention. But when grandma didn’t take her side of the argument, she became somewhat disruptive. She began cursing at grandma.
I was ten at the time, and I had never heard so much cursing from someone so young, as I did that day. If her daddy had been there, I am sure she would have gotten a strap laid across her behind, but since he wasn’t there, grandma decided she would handle it.
My grandmothers house was built so that you could go out of one room and into the next and it continued in a circle. There was a room built on the side, in which none of us were allowed to go into . It was her private room and had been kept closed for years. I snuck in there once to see what all the fuss was about. The room smelled crisp and all the shelves were filled with pictures and her treasures. The carpet was a plush scarlet red. I never asked grandma what that room was for. I always imagined it was where she went to be alone with God. Someday, when I get to heaven I’ll have to ask her.
Anyway, grandma set out with switch in hand and chased my cousin at least five times around the house. All of a sudden, I heard the first and last curse word that had ever come out of my grandmothers mouth. It wasn’t a bad word really, not vile. It described the contents that come out of persons hind end when doing their business. Next thing I know, grandma sat down in her winged chair and began crying.
I thought she was upset because she couldn’t catch my cousin and give her what she deserved, but that wasn’t the case at all. She was crying because she felt as if she had been a bad example in front of us. She kept apologizing for her cussing. That day grandma etched in my very soul the way a true believer in Christ should conduct themselves. I learned we can follow Christ and model our lives after His, but we are also still human and we err. I also learned that the enemy will find ways to attack us, even by using someone like my hellish cousin, who later that evening apologized to my grandma.
I remember her as a giving person. She gave away a lot of things to people when they tore her house down and placed her in a small two bedroom trailer. She kept all those pictures though, covered all her walls with them. There wasn’t an empty space anywhere on her walls. She loved people.
Sometimes I wonder if great grandfather and great grandmother knew something about my grandmother in advance. Why else would they give her such a fitting middle name as Pearl? She lived up to that name in every way. I once heard that the reason God chose the pearl to be put on the heavenly gates is because it represents Christ himself. The shell being the tomb, the oyster the covering, but the pearl itself being the most beautiful gift that was ever given to mankind.
It has been twenty four years now since my grandmother left this earth to be with the one she loved the most. Yet, it seems to me like it was yesterday. She was ninety-two when she left us. It was three days before Christmas. I remember asking her what she wanted for Christmas. She replied that there was nothing she needed or wanted. She said she didn’t believe that she would be here. Her greatest gift she said, would to be to go home to be with her precious Lord and Savior.
My selfishness overtook me. I didn’t want to hear that. I wanted her to be with me for a long, long time. You see, I had found a pearl, a precious pearl, and I didn’t want to let it go. She had been the most beautiful thing in my life. She was the pearl, that I so dearly treasured.
Three days before Christmas, grandma went to her bed. She most likely said her prayers, as she had done every night. Oh, how I remember those nights. I would lay by her side and she would talk to God into the wee hours of the night. I’m sure she prayed for those that she loved, for God to keep them in His care and to bring those that were lost to salvation.
And somewhere amongst the midst of her cloud of prayers, in a quiet and peaceful room, God took her home in the comfort of His gentle loving arms. He took with Him my lovely Pearl. He gave her the greatest Christmas present ever. The very one she had hoped for.