I recall my grandmother’s house on Story Book Lane with such fun memories. Knowing as we crossed the threshold she would cheerfully state,”Welcome, greetings and salutations!” My grandmother was a mere 5’2″ – wrapped in that small frame, was a smart, witty and funny spitfire of a woman.
Sunday dinners were a fanfare. A scrumptious aroma would emit smells of artfully seasoned pot roast, fresh vegetables and homemade baked rolls. The soft jazz music would set the enticing mood as I helped my grandmother set an ornate table with a crocheted tablecloth, linen napkins and beautifully polish silverware. My favorite accents were the homegrown flowers, usually hydrangea or roses, arranged in unique containers to add interest and whimsy.
My grandmother loved to invite each granddaughter over for a special weekend date. My memorable date began in her sun-room, where she placed pillows on the floor and had prepared a tantalizing Chinese dinner; she had stir fry in a wok. Her authentic attire was a silky scarlet-colored robe that was embroidered with festive flowers and dragons. To my delight we ate our dinner with chopsticks around a lowered table.
The Story Book house was nestled in a cul-de-sac. Like clockwork, every afternoon a train would breeze by in the back of Grandmother’s plush yard. The whistling sound became comfortingly predictable, though, when you were at Grandmother’s, it was anything but mundane. The train didn’t deter us from being outside, in fact, we were outside quite often. We’d hang her laundry on an umbrella-shaped clothesline. It wasn’t a chore learning to use wooden clothespins but turned into a game to see how quickly we could empty our basket.
My artistic grandmother taught me to wrap presents, make diminutive beaded flowers, care for fish, make pineapple upside-down cake, garden, dive in the deep-end, set a proper table, arrange flowers, manicure my nails, and how be artistic and whimsical. Most important, she impressed on my heart that we don’t have to be a victim of our circumstances. During my elementary years of my life my grandmother fought breast cancer. Her own mother had passed away when she was only two so she never had a role model. Maybe that’s why she embraced life and never complained about her failing health, but instead lived abundantly and fully. Grandmother knew to embrace each day by sharing her gifts and talents. She would relish life and was an excellent teacher, though, at times, she spoke not a word.
She modeled what love looks like, she was authentic and knew how to love well and shared her gift of hospitality. She lived her passion knowing tomorrow is not promised to anyone. My precious grandmother made an everlasting impression on my life, for each moment was a treasure to her and she knew to wring out every ounce of love, joy and glee that each day brought. She lived her life with intention regardless of how short of a life she’d have (She passed at only fifty-six years of age). I wore the royal purple velvet dress she had bought me just a few months before to honor her. It still smelled like her Shalimar fragrance. The sweet fragrance lingered to remind me of how to leave an imprint, a legacy. She knew how to make me feel like a princess; I was Grandmother’s princess! She adored her granddaughters and we all felt like we were her favorite! She would be humbled to know that she now has a great-granddaughter who is her namesake, Elise.
Grandmother’s legacy of love continues to spread to many generations. God too sees us as royalty because we are adopted into a royal priesthood. We can live in fullness because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We are free to live in his abundance. God loves to give good gifts to his kids and He knows exactly what we need. Aren’t you so elated that He loves us perfectly and completely? He knows each of our own love languages and is so detailed in demonstrating His love for us! I’m grateful that He gave me my grandmother and that I’ll see her again someday. Oh, just maybe, she’ll meet me at the gate with a big bouquet of roses and she’ll shout, “Welcome, greetings and salutations!”
Love in Him,