This is one in a series of daily posts I conceived of writing many weeks ago while the election still raged on, as I looked for something to write about of more lasting value. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving seemed perfectly appropriate for it. Just in case you wondered, the topics introduced are not necessarily in any particular order. I hope the series is of some small encouragement to you, even as my site traffic takes a dive.
I am thankful for the legacy of my grandparents, not nearly as much a material legacy as one of character and fond memories. Not much more can be said about my Grandpa DeGrow, about whom I posted exactly one year ago to the day, on the 100th anniversary of his birth. (But I do invite you to read it, if you haven’t already.)
Grandma Hutchings – my maternal grandmother – was a testament to patience and sweetness. She was hard-working, generous with what little she had, and nearly always teeming with quiet joys. And she endured no small share of hardships in her life.
Her father was killed in a tornado when she was a teenager. She left her home in Missouri at a young age and set out on her own for Michigan in the midst of the Depression. Her first marriage was very rough in ways I will never know, yet she worked odd jobs literally to keep bread on the table for several small children. Her second marriage was trying in different ways. My grandfather (whom I never met) suffered from deteriorating vision and eventually couldn’t work.
There’s plenty more, but you don’t need the details to know what kind of a person she was. She worked and worked and worked, and gave and gave and gave – to her own family first, and to missionaries and needy folks as well. Praise and blessing, far more than complaint and criticism, characterized her life.
Grandma had a sweet spirit that – to my mind – can only be explained by her close walk with the Savior. She loved the old hymns. Even as her mind slipped in the long throes of dementia, she would remember the words to songs like “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” and “In the Sweet By and By”. It gave me lots of extra practice on the piano to play for her in those days.
Anyway, my Grandpa DeGrow and Grandma Hutchings (who both incidentally lived to age 90) left deep and lasting impressions on my life. A Christian testimony, and lessons of character, and plenty of fond memories. This kind of blessing could be easy for me to take for granted.
Nevertheless, I am thankful to God for the legacy of my grandparents.