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Monday, December 5, 2011


I live directly across the street from an incredible woman.  At 72, she still works full time and is active in her local church.  Her mothering of seven children has infused her with wisdom equal to her years.  My earliest memories have her dashing from stove to counter in her tiny kitchen preparing more food than even her 18 grandchildren could consume in one gathering.  The house was always full of people and music and laughter, and from before I can remember it has always been a place of stories (usually told with lots of hand motions and intense facial expressions for which the Wilson clan is widely known).   But it hasn't all been sunshine and roses.  My grandmom has known deep suffering.  She has known homeless, loveless years.  She has suffered at the hands of cruelty and injustice.  Yet her life is a picture of grace.  Her relationship with the Lord is strong and fervent, and her consistent prayer life is a challenge and encouragement to me.  She hasn't had an adventurous life in one sense.  It's been motherhood and housewifing and teaching and training and gardening.  Grandmom is an army wife who survived two wars, which means that she spent a lot of time rearing seven kids by herself.  No, not adventure.  She hasn't traveled the world or met the president.  But she has worked and prayed and loved.  She's fulfilled the calling of the woman of God: faithful, humble, authentically beautiful.  And I am privileged to have her in my life.  For her sense of humor, her wisdom and insight, her quirkiness and spunk, and her godly example, I thank God.  She has been my cheer-leader, my prayer-warrior, my advice-giver, my tear-collector.  I love her.  And I hope, by God's grace, to be an echo of her godliness.

Twenty years or so have passed
since first you held me in your arms.
I was just a child
and yet my mind still labored
collecting drops of memories
Not thinking that two decades hence
I would drink deeply and be refreshed
with hummingbirds
and lemon cake
the heady scent of sweet gardenia
blue morning glories creeping up
the trellis in your garden.
lazy locusts
calling crickets
heavy heat that chases us inside
where we can sit and talk for hours
about everything and nothing
from the overflowing cistern you keep filling
in my heart.

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