My mother called me the other day. Or maybe I called her. I can’t remember. Anyway…one of the other inmates at my grandmother’s Senior Assisted Living Center publishes a newsletter. (Katherine , meet yourself in 40 years…) The Newsletter lady asked my mother and aunt to write a tribute piece to my grandmother. Both Mom and Betty Jean plead Moses and the duty of writing the tribute fell to me. I’m good at writing extemporaneously but suckful at writing for deadline. It got even worse when my mom said “it doesn’t have to be long. 50 words are fine.” Well, 50 words is a sentence or two in my world. So this was a hard piece. But I’ve written it anyway.
Here in the South–my adopted home–folks talk fond and often of their grandma’s cooking. The phrase evokes memories of biscuits and chicken dishes, holiday meals and covered dish suppers at the church. People will come to blows over whose granny fried the best bird or whipped up the fluffiest taters.
Not everyone had a professional cook for a grandma, but I did. Eldonna Graffis supplemented the family’s farm income by cooking for the public school system. Yes, that’s right. For many years my grandmother was The Lunch Lady. I never ate at the Kewanna school, so I never tasted what she served there. I’m sure, though, that it was at least half as good as the meals she made for us.
As I get older, though, I think of the other ways my Grandma has fed all of us. To this day she’s got a sharp sense of humour and a love of laughter. Over the years that has served a food of joy to all around her. Her hunger for knowledge and love of reading fed all of her children. Her one son used that food to become a prominent surgeon; her two daughters proffered that gift onward by teaching. Her children’s children are therapists, attorneys, teachers and writers.
The most import food my grandmother ever gave any of us, though, was the fruit of the Spirit. Her unabashed love for the Lord Jesus and her willingness to show that walk modeled in her daily life fed faith to her family.
Sure her fried chicken is great and her Thanksgiving turkey could not be matched. But that other food is more lasting, more filling and the best gift any grandmother could give.