Sunday, September 13, 2015

Grandparents' Day

We HAVE to have a prayer life! But go ahead and sleep in though. Hell has come for your family, for your marriage, but by all means--get yourself 45 minutes extra of sleep. -Beth Moore, via Lelia Chealey

Today is my first Grandparents' Day without a grandparent on earth. I was in a terrible mood, already, when I figured out it was Grandparents' Day.

One of my childhood friends passed away, yesterday, after a long battle with brain cancer, and she wasn't the first friend I'd lost to death, this month.

My husband got caught up in "workforce reduction" at the end of July and lost his job. He's made a full-time job of looking for a job ever since but hasn't nailed down a position. We're not in desperate straits, quite yet, but it won't be long. In Kroger, yesterday, I thought he and I might throw down over a box of pudding. (The one the girls wanted--the one upon which I insisted--was eleven cents more expensive than the store brand.)

I could tell you stories about other situations with which I'm struggling, too, but I won't; suffice it to say: I've known less confusing, happier days. Fonzie and the Cunninghams have left the building. And I haven't stopped praying or reading the Bible (I started a study on Isaiah this week, in fact.), but I have copped a bit of an attitude with God, here and there. I slept through church, this morning. Then, after reading about Grandparents' Day, I slapped the spoons one by one into the silverware holder, asking God in my mind: Where. Are. You?

I miss my grandma. She passed away in May. She was 97 and had been suffering from Alzheimer's, among other atrocities. She had earned her reward; still, I miss her. When I lost her, I had already been losing her for a long time; still, I miss her. I miss our conversations. I miss her letters.

I was thinking these things when I came across some unopened mail at the end of our counter. I found a package from Joanne Norton, her book inside, also a letter from my cousin Ginny. I don't think Ginny's written to me since I was in elementary school, but my grandma was her aunt. I sat down on the couch to open the envelope and unfold and read the letter. What a happy thing, I thought, to get "real mail" from Joanne and Ginny on Grandparents' Day. A Sunday.

But there's more. As I was opening a door I rarely open in my house, an envelope on top of a book shelf caught my eye: could it be? And yes, it was: a thank-you note from my aunt related to my grandma's services. I had opened it on the counter back in May and read exactly one line of it before one of the kids called me away. When I returned to read the rest, it was gone: just gone! I'd searched high and low for that note for almost four months. I'd actually gone through garbage, looking for it! I'd been feeling so awkward about it; how does one respond to a note she hasn't read? I hadn't wanted to write to my aunt and say: "I got your thank-you note but never actually read it. What did it say?"

I don't think it's a coincidence that the note turned up (for the second time) on a day on which I was feeling particularly discouraged, Grandparents' Day, a Sunday.

I looked at the clock. It was 4:30. I had twenty minutes to get ready for the evening service at my former church. Cade, the girls, and I made it on time.

Still clinging.


  1. Seriously loving how this shows the way God leaves us evidence of His love and presence scattered throughout even our hardest days, if we'll just stop and notice. I'm praying for Jim to find a great job.

  2. Hi Brandee,

    I miss my Grandma, too.

    She passed away fifteen years ago or so. She was also 96-97, and had been in decline for a few years, but fought all the way to the end.

    I spent a couple of hours yesterday going through her things (not even knowing it was Grandparents Day) trying to decide what to keep and what to throw away...yeah, it's been in boxes all those years!

    My word, that woman kept *everything* Every birthday card and post card anybody ever sent her...every newspaper clipping of interest..and boxes and boxes of pictures. Her brother had 13 kids, so I've got plenty of cousins running around WV and Delaware; many pictures of them, though I don't know them all.

    I still have my vinyl copy of "John Denver's Greatest Hits" that Grandma bought me back in the know that his "Almost Heaven" is like the state anthem in WV!

    Good luck to Jim on the job hunt.



  3. Oh man, do I recognize this! ALL of it, the attitude, the feelings behind the attitude, the fear which lies beneath it all. And the lovely, redemptive gifts that God sent you, in the nick of time. My, my. God is good at this stuff. Love to you, dear Brandee. Praying for that job. Soon.

  4. I'm sorry for your loss of your grandmother and the job loss and tight finances. Keep clinging. In my family's assorted hard times and drama, I have to keep remembering that these are the times I grow most. Maybe some people can grow by leaps and bounds in the happy times, but I seem to learn to know and trust God more when there's no other option. :) May the Lord keep sending you encouragement when you need it most and draw you closer to Himself in these hard times than you've ever been.

    Thank you for any prayers you're led to pray for my family as we walk through a long-term loss and the one-year anniversary of my Nonni's death on Oct. 27.

    Love you.