Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday, Thank God for Grandmothers


We didn’t have a lot to be thankful for when we were growing up. We were pretty poor, my parents often fought and to say that our house was neat and tidy would be a gross misrepresentation. One thing we did have, was great grandmothers. Not Great Grandmothers but great “Grandmothers”. You know what I mean. And both of them for the most part raised their families alone. One grandfather left and the other was an alcoholic so the grandmothers did what they had to do.

This past weekend I traveled to the town where I was born to attend the funeral of one of my uncles; Russell Cushing. He died at the age of 95 and he lived a good life. He was a great family man and kept himself physically, mentally and spiritually active right up to when he died. Had he not had cancer I am confident he would have lived well past the age of 100. He was the oldest living native of Ormond Beach at the time of his death. Even though he will be missed I am sure he is in Heaven and smiling down on us. I am thankful for all the family that I had growing up but as I said it is the grandmothers that I am most thankful for.

I spent many hours with my grandmothers as I was growing up. I loved talking with them and hearing stories from the past. They were both special people and held the families together. My grandmother Green had it especially hard because she was a TB survivor. Back in those days they just took you to an asylum to die when you got TB but somehow she survived. I often spent the day with her talking about gardening and birds and nature in general. She died the same year that I retired from the Navy but due to my mother being mad at me at the time she purposely didn’t let me know.

So Grandma Green passed away without me being able to say goodbye and it was weeks before I even knew she was gone. Every time I visited the old town I meant to visit her grave but I just never found the time. I was always on a tight schedule when I was in town so I never made it to see her. It’s hard to believe that so many years have passed. So this time since I was in town and not on a schedule I promised myself that I would visit her grave and say goodbye.

Grandma had selected her grave site herself and I have to say she did a great job. My sister took me there and I was happy to see a well maintained cemetery. It was on one of the few hills in Daytona. Grandma’s grave was at the top of the hill overlooking the entire place.


There was a huge oak tree nearby and a statue of Jesus just to her left. So the first thing that came to mind was “she is at the right hand of Jesus looking down on us”. I knew it. If anyone was going to be there it would be her. But it was so symbolic that it made me feel good inside.


We talked for a while and I said I just wish I could have had the chance to say goodbye. Then
something very unusual happened.

As I was just about to walk away, a huge hawk appeared out of nowhere and flew up and landed on the statue which was about 25 feet away. Now I don’t know if you know anything about hawks but they don’t like being out in the open like that so close to people unless they are hunting. But this hawk wasn’t hunting. He was just sitting there looking at us. And I mean looking right at us. I had my camera with me since I wanted to get some photos of the area so I raised it and took a photo and he didn’t even fly away. I turned to my sister and said; What do you think? She just smiled and said; Who knows, it's possible. We walked to the car and the hawk remained perched on the statue until we were out of site.


I whispered Goodbye Grandma as we drove away but I am sure I will return. So I thank God for Grandmothers.

Have a great day,
Greg

3 comments:

Heckety said...

What a lovely visit for you! And a lovely post to read too. I had one wonderful Gran who lived close enough to be very involved with us as children, so I do know the difference it means to have a close-by Gran. And like your sister said-'who knows?' Myself I don't think that just because a person is in Heaven they can have forgotton their loved ones still here, and since they are waiting for us, why wouldn't they be watching too? I guess your Gran was a happy to see you as you were to visit her!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

i love that your back and i will have to join you in your thankful thursday on wednesdays... ha!

i always loved my mom's mom and i have tried hard to be the best Nana I can to my precious grandchildren!

drewinTX said...

this is such a sweet tribute to my Great Aunt Mary,(and your other grandma) that is all we ever knew her by, just Aunt Mary. Like you, she holds a special place in my heart. She was a prayer warrior and gave us peace when my mom died. I had the special joy of leading her to a saving knowledge of Jesus two weeks before she died.(My mom) Aunt Mary told me at the funeral that she had never seen Mom have such peace in her life. Thanks Greg