Saturday, September 20, 2008

A tribute to my church Grandma

Every child should feel loved and special—and the more positive influences on a child’s life, the better. One woman who made my childhood even better was Mrs. Hart, who traded her earthly dwelling for a heavenly one on Wednesday. She was 89 and had been married over 70 years!

Mrs. Hart had a way of making me, and many other kids from church, feel very special. She and Mr. Hart let us sit with them during Sunday night services and occasionally would watch us while our parents would shop for Christmas presents. Somehow, that gift of time and presence added to my sense of worth as a person and also made me look forward to going to church to be with more people who loved me. She was a loving, gentle, sweet, positive Christian woman and a Southern lady, too.

I would try to visit the Harts whenever I was back “home.” In the last couple of years, she and Mr. Hart had a sudden, drastic change when they both fell and had to leave their home and lose their independence. When I visited their new place over Christmas, I had a sweet, grown up, conversation with her as she discussed disappointment in the change of circumstances, being isolated, and dependent on others, and how she was trying to live out her beliefs to be joyful despite the circumstances. This July, my sisters and I visited her in the hospital, where she had ended up after another fall. She was her usual sweet self and we were so glad to have visited her. I didn’t know it would be the last time.

How is my life better from knowing her and from her investment in my life? My childhood was enriched by a feeling of being loved by many . . . my family and then others such as Mr. and Mrs. Hart who adopted us, made us feel special, and gave my parents a break, too.

No comments: