On the occasion of my grandmother’s birthday

For those of you who don’t know, today is my Grandma Anderson’s birthday. She would have been 91 today, but she died last summer.

When you’re a child, you don’t really realize the awesomeness of the adults in your life. It’s only sometimes, when you can look back on your memories, that you begin to recognize what was always in front of you. It’s been that way with my grandmother. As I reflect on the commonplace memories of her, I begin to realize what an amazing person she was.

Honestly, I feel a bit like I missed out on interacting with my grandmother as an adult. We moved to Peoria when I was 25, and soon thereafter she moved to Pittsburgh to be closer to her daughter (my Aunt Laurie). Because of this, I rarely saw her. One of our visits back to Erie, we planned to travel down to Pittsburgh and see her. Instead, Crystal and I both were violently ill. I recovered enough to travel, but she shivered in the back of the van with a fever as we headed back to Peoria, bypassing Pittsburgh. We didn’t want my grandmother to catch whatever we had.

And so this last summer, we made plans to drive out to Erie and Pittsburgh, specifically to visit her.

We were just a couple weeks too late.

But, you know what….

My grandmother was my first inspiration to write. She was the first published author that I knew. I remember reading articles by her in various magazines. Even more so, she was the first independent author that I knew to self-publish her own work. She wrote a book called Through a Parsonage Window which was a memoir of her time being a pastor’s wife. For me, it was a window into my family’s history. My birth even figured in part of the book! Nowadays, with print-on-demand technology and the like, this is relatively easy. In her day, this was a significant undertaking.

Now, as I write and publish, I find a part of her in what I do.

My grandmother was also a resilient woman. She was married and had three daughters. She also buried her husband and two of her daughters. Yet I never heard her complain. Instead, I saw her constantly entrusting herself to your beloved Lord. And, even at the end of her life, while she may have been fading, she still had the firm faithfulness that she had at the beginning. She finished strong, and now she is with her Lord Whom she loved. Also, she is with her husband and two of her daughters, never to be separated again. Her faithfulness has been rewarded, a hundredfold.

That’s who I want to be. I want to have been the kind of man who loves his grandchildren liked she loved us. I want to be resilient, like she was. I want to finish strong, like she did.

When I grow up, I want to be like my grandmother.

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