I've always known that my grandmother is an amazing person. She is kind and loving and giving. She never stops hoping, never stops seeking, and makes conversation with anyone. I used to wonder how she could walk into the grocery store and know to ask after the cashier's child who has a mental disability. Frankly, sometimes I thought she was silly for striking up some of the conversations she did. I mean, she lives in a big city, not some small town where everyone knows everybody. What was the point?
To a be a blessing to everyone that crossed her path. That's the point. Oh and how it comes back around. She is dying of cancer right now, physically incapacitated and unable to leave her bed. As I sat with her, we were talking about some of the people who had been by to visit her. Of course, loads of family and friends from her church. But when she said two people from Food Lion (her local grocery store) and one from Belk's (the department store where she shops), my jaw dropped open. I tell you, I've been shopping at some of the same stores for quite awhile and none of them would be visiting me on my deathbed. They don't know my name much less my phone number! But, oh, these ladies care for her deeply because she first cared for them. How many times do I sigh loudly when the checker at the store is slow? How many times do I get impatient with the customer service rep when they can't answer my question or when my order doesn't come? (I even know better than to do that, since my husband works in customer service.) To my grandmother, it seemed that there was no one that wasn't worth caring about. There wasn't anyone that wasn't deserving of a smile or a kind word. Building those relationships was like a second nature to her. She never asked for anything in return, but God has allowed her to see the fruit of her blessings as they stream in one by one to visit, to bring food, to sit with her a spell. I can only hope to have half the visitors that she does, as the glow of my heart just pales in comparison to hers.
When she dies, I will only have memories and her inspiration to take with me. She inspires me to carry on her legacy -- to care about those normally ignored, to smile even when I have every right to be angry, to hope even when I am drowning in hopelessness, to love like there is nothing more important in the world.