Friday, November 13, 2009

nine lives

dear emily,

i bet you miss your biology classes some days when you spend your time, instead, changing diapers and wiping runny noses.  let not your heart be troubled, because you will have many adventures after your sweet babies have left the nest.

let me encourage you with some stories about my grandmother.  if the proverbial cat has nine lives, then she had at least that many!

in her first life, her family came to oklahoma in a covered wagon to be missionaries to the indians.

her second life brought marriage and her third, eight children!

her fourth life brought her widowhood, as her husband and oldest child were murdered in her kitchen...
a devastating heartbreak still.

was her life over? absolutely not!

instead, she had a fifth life in raising those seven children not only to keep up the family farm, but also to excel in school.

her sixth life took her to the campus of northwestern university, where she was the dorm mom (my dad had to live his senior year in a tiny dorm room with her.)  this provided the tuition waiver for her oldest kids to attend college. after all seven children graduated from college, three attended medical school and one, law school.

the impoverished med and law students passed her '57 chevy between them until it journeyed to my cousin lane.  she painted it pink, named it 'talulah', and then sent it to me for my 16th birthday!

are you keeping up?

ok, now grandma was in her fifties and retiring to the rocking way!  in her seventh life SHE went to college and became the best first grade teacher ever! i was old enough by then to visit her class.

her eighth life took her to seminary and ordination as a methodist minister at the young age of  65.  she had a little church in manter, kansas for many years, which i was happy to attend.

in her late seventies, she did finally become the secretary to the ORU chaplain and to disciple young ORU married students in her tiny cottage.  one of my best friends, anna mae, was in that blessed group.  that makes nine!

in her tenth life, she traveled all around the world, taking me to israel when she was 84!!!

take that, kitty kitty!


Margaret said...

I was one of the people who had trouble posting, but it's working now. =)

Your grandmother sounds amazing. What a role model! I had forgotten about the '57 Chevy. I always thought it was a cool car, but of course I had no idea where it came from. How fun to learn the rest of the story!

letters to emily said...

i had to enlist my front seat passenger to help on the right hand turns, because it was really hard work! the steering wheel was 3 ft. across...

Margaret said...

So you can add phenomenal upper body strength to your grandmother's attributes. I guess that's why they didn't need gyms back then. LOL

Anonymous said...

Your grandmother was an amazing women. I had the privilege of knowing her.I will never forget the wise counsel she gave all us young mothers. Your blogs remind me of her. You have inherited your grandmothers wisdom. I have followered her example and am now entering my third and fourth life. Pretty exciting when your over 60. Keep the wisdom flowing, don't forget your morning pages. ha