April 15, 2009
By Sarah Waller SILVER, Gainesville, Georgia
Sarah Waller SILVER, Gainesville, Georgia
8 articles 0 photos 0 comments

When I think about all the times I spent with Great Grandma, I find that most of my memories center around the small house she lived in. Going to her house was like traveling home. There this feeling I have sometime get when I’m driving and start to recognize the buildings and the streets signs, and I get this excited feeling because I know I’m only minutes from home. Well, I felt that every time we would go and visit Grandma. Usually if we drove to Grandma’s, by the time I start to recognize the motels and this one Wendy’s restaurant, I would be so miserable. No offence to my immediate family, but after 12 hours in the car with the same people you get pretty sick of them. Being at Grandma’s always brought refreshment and a sense of peace. Of course, as a young child her small organ brought the most fun and amazement. It was like our piano but better because the buttons would light up when you pressed them. And I loved her small sitting room, the one with the TV. For me, the room always felt like a tree house. There would be light pouring in through the windows and every piece of furniture looked like it belonged on a patio somewhere sunny. On this one shelf, there were pictures and keepsakes but my favorite was this one bowling trophy she had. I wish I could remember the whole story to that trophy; she told it to me once, but it was so long ago.
My relationship with Grandma, as silly as it sounds, can be described as a cyber connection. I cannot remember how it all started, but Grandma became my cyber pen pal way back in elementary school. I think I was in the 5th grade when Grandpa told me he set up an email account for her. That was our main way of communication. Most of the time, my emails would talk about everyday things. I would write about school and soccer and just the day-to-day stuff. The emails would usually start with “how are you” and end with a report about the weather. Her replies were simple; usually she would respond to what I said and maybe report the weather in her neck of the woods. Every once in a while she would recount a story from her past. Of all the emails she sent I only kept two. There were many that I wished I hadn’t deleted, but it’s too late now. Both of the ones I kept where simply her memories. Every email I sent during the summer of 2007 included a sentence or two about the then upcoming wedding between my brother Kyle and his longtime girlfriend Liz. On June 23, Grandma sent me an email with the subject “see that you are really hot.” Out of every email she sent me, this one will always be my favorite.

it was 102 when we were married augusut 15,1936 here in delaware,ohio
on the way to pittsburgh,pa. no air back then.grandpa got very sick.
that's how we spent our first week of married li fe.
i guess that
toughent us up.. so im glad we have air now. send more later. my love,

I have to smile every time I read this. Though I never met her husband, I know for a fact that Great Grandma was one tough lady. She would always have a strong comeback line if ever anyone tried to make a joke at her expense. Grandma was a fighter, yet she was always filled with so much love. In many of her emails, she would tell me that the reason God has kept her on the earth this long is so she can pray for each and everyone of us. She had such mental courage and strength that I don’t think the strongest body builder could stand a chance. And the fact is, Grandma could always win in a yelling match.
Looking back on my relationship with Grandma, I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Sure she could be stubborn, but Grandma had the most amazing heart and enduring faith. During almost every visit, Grandma would crack a joke about how it would be the perfect time to die because the family is already here, yet I wonder if someone would go back in time and tell Grandma she would live until the year 2008, would she be shocked or pleasantly surprised. I always thought that to be able to live for 90 years was an amazing gift, but now that the sun has set on January 6, 2007, I think differently. For the first time in quite a long time, Grandma gets to see the people of her childhood, the men and women that shaped her growing years, her parents who guided her, and her true love and dearest companion. For the first time in a long time, Grandma will be in no pain, will finally have peace, comfort, and joy. For the first time, Grandma will meet face to face with her creator and our redeemer. I was asked once what I would like to hear when I reach the gates of heaven, and I told them that words would not be necessary. The mere sight of Jesus Christ would be enough. Though death is a mystery, Christ’s power is amazing. And when Grandma finally takes His hand, I dream that with open arms He will say, “Welcome home at last!”

The author's comments:
I wrote this after my great grandmother passed away. I read it at her funeral.

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