If you’ve read Quilted by Christmas, I hope you saw the dedication, because that book has everything to do with my grandmothers. I thought it would be fun to spend the next couple of weeks talking about the two ladies who inspired Jemma.
Nanny is my father’s mother. She is the strongest woman in the worldt. Most of the time, she’s this incredible quiet spirit. Often, she just sits and watches her family, smiling. Believe me… we’re a noisy bunch. She had five children, who had nine grandchildren, and I I believe we are at nine great-grandchildren, plus a great-great grandbaby. Factor in spouses and, even when only a fraction of us get together, it’s a rowdy crowd. Nanny raised children who laugh easily and love much. This gave me aunts and uncles who are like second parents, and it gave me cousins who are like brothers and sisters.
She’s gone by many names… Granny. Nanny. T. Yes, T. She is downright famous for her sweet tea, which none of us can duplicate. I have literally dreamed I was in her backyard scooping tea out of a barrel. My cousin spent several years in her toddlerhood referring to Granny T. True story. She also makes the best fried hamburger you ever ate. Ever. In your whole life. And brocooli casserole. Chicken casserole. Corn pudding. Sour cream muffins… Thanksgiving at Nanny’s is quite the wonder.
I had the privilege of being in Bible study with Nanny. That woman loves Jesus. Even her name, Gloria Hope, is a prayer. She has this steady love for him that glows on her face, permeates her entire life with gentleness that is a rock in our family. She didn’t say much, but when she did, everybody listened because it came straight from her spirit. She’s a giver too. At 85, she volunteers every week at the hospital.
She has a rod of steel in place of a spine, I just know it. There’s no other way she could bear up under the things she has endured in her life. She lost her father when she was young, suffered through cancer and all that went with it, and lost her husband in her fifties. In one year, she lost her son-in-law to cancer, endured a five-way bypass, lost her youngest daughter, and walked her oldest through cancer as well… There has been much grief in her life. Much that would make the average person crumble. But not my Nanny. The beauty of her is that she knows Jesus is in charge and He loves her, that He’s going to work all of this out for good in the end. I don’t know many people who could endure what she’s gone through, but she has, with the strength that only comes from leaning on Jesus.
When you read Jemma, you see pieces of Nanny in her. And pieces of my other grandmother as well. You’ll meet her next week, so come back to visit! And if you’d like to read Quilted by Christmas, you can find the link here!
How about you? Care to share any remarkable things about your grandmother?