I Never Knew Her

Genealogy 002I never knew her. In fact I only had one small picture of her. Her wispy gray hair lay softly around her faintly smiling face. She looked sweet, like someone I would have enjoyed knowing. My grandma. Only occasionally did I think of her because she died a month before I was born. Through the years, I wondered if I was anything like her. She was thin and small boned. So am I. I had heard that she had a weak constitution and died of consumption, a name for tuberculosis in those days.

At times I would lay awake at night thinking about what it must be like to have a grandmother, longing to know her. It must be so comforting to have an elderly woman in your life, one who dotes over you and loves you no matter what. Over the years I’ve observed others who have a grandma in their life, and I’ve noticed how warmly they speak of her. Was I really anything like my grandmother? Did we enjoy any of the same kinds of things?

When I was in my 50’s and a grandmother myself, I still wondered about my own. How would my life have been different if she had been there to help me with homework or take me out for ice cream? Would we have shared secrets and giggled into the night? Perhaps she would have wrapped her arms around me and told me I was about the sweetest thing ever. What’s it like to have a grandma?

Then, when I was a bit past half a century old, a cousin told me that a week before grandma had died, she had written an article about her life and would I like to have a copy. Of course, I would! I wonder if God had spoken to her to write this short autobiography…just before she died, knowing one day a granddaughter would long to know her.

I slowly scrolled through the writing, each delicious word bringing me into the presence of the one I did not know. A warm and welcoming feeling came over me as I realized we had things in common. She was involved in her church as I was. She read her Bible too. She enjoyed camping with her family. As I read on, I began to feel that in some small way, the Lord was revealing a heritage to me. Grandma was part of my roots. She was part of the quarry from which I was dug. I found myself drawing this new knowledge close to my heart. From the few pictures that came with the packet, I saw her from different angles. I think I would have liked her. I think we would have been close. I love her though I have not known her. She is waiting for me in heaven, and I can’t wait for Jesus to introduce us at my eventual homecoming. The little girl in me wonders if I could still sit on her lap.

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