Thursday, August 27, 2009

Grandma Pearl

My life was forever changed on August 28, 1903. Yes, 106 years ago my life was being shaped before I was ever born. On this day in history, my Grandma Pearl was born. In my eyes and heart, she was one of God's most beautiful creations. Because my dad's parents died before I was born and Granddaddy Patrick died when I was three, she is the only grandparent I ever knew. While I would have loved to have known my other three grandparents, she was enough.

One of my earliest memories of Grandma was on vacation in Daytona Beach. I am not sure how old I was…probably no more than four or five. I remember holding her hand in the ocean and she would help me jump the waves. When a wave would get me in the face, I would wipe my eyes on the skirt of her bathing suit.

Grandma could sew anything and could do it without a pattern. For years, she was the alteration lady at an upscale clothing store in Spartanburg called The Barn. She was famous for being able to fit a size 14 woman into size 10 clothes! While I was growing up, I wore many things she made.

Some of our favorite family memories of Grandma are the expressions she would use over and over. There is not a time we get together as a family that someone doesn't quote her using the phrase…"As Pearl would say…"

Here are a few of my favorites...

"On a galloping horse who's going to know the difference…"

"It's as wrinkled as a dog's hind leg…"

"He's as tight as Dick's hatband…"

"He's a good old plug…"

She had a million of them! Another thing Grandma was famous for was claiming to only have a twenty dollar bill or a check when it came time to pay the bill! "I would offer to pay but all I have is a 20 and I don't want to break it! Her son in law, my Daddy fell for that one all the time, but it was because he loved her like he loved his own mother!

In her later years, riding with Grandma was always an adventure. It was definitely a way to increase your prayer life! She had a tendency to drive down the middle of the road. I pointed it out to her one day to which she promptly replied, "As long as there is no one coming, I'll take my half in the middle."!

There are not enough words to express all that I learned from Grandma Pearl. She loved to talk about the Lord and how good He had been to her. She would ask folks in a minute…"Do you know my Lord?" She was a prayer warrior who talked to the Lord all the time. One time I asked her why I never heard her say amen. Her reply…"because I never stop praying". She loved us all, and she would call you out in a heartbeat and let you know in a hurry your behavior was unbecoming to a Christian. She taught me so much about faith in God and how to live placing your trust in Him.

She has been on my mind and heart all day and I have cried because I still miss her even though she passed away over fifteen years ago. But tears of grief can also be tears of joy. Our pastor preached a great sermon about death Sunday. While physical death defeated my Grandma's earthly body, she had placed her trust in the One who defeated eternal death for her. So tomorrow on her birthday I will remember her and I will celebrate the fact she is rejoicing and worshipping the One who created her.

I'm so glad He did. My life has been forever changed because she was my Grandma.