You’ll notice that I write a lot about my family. It’s because for my entire life, we have been weirdly close. I mean that in a way that I’ve met few people who is as close to their extended families as we are.
As a kid, instead of going to daycare, my Granny and Papa watched my sister, cousins Jared & Jamie, and myself. Every day. We also went to the same church so we saw each other six days a week. We spent 40+ hours together a week, if you wanna throw some math in there.
For every birthday, anniversary, holiday, we were at my Granny & Papa’s house. She would fix dinner, all by herself, for 13 people. As the grandkids got older and started dating, the 13 turned into 14, 15, 16. Then our oldest cousin had 3 kids and it upped the number even more. What I’m getting at here is this: my family is number one, behind God, and my Granny & Poppy the backbone of it.
One year ago, today, my parents & I were getting ready for church. It was a Sunday morning, Granny had been home from the rehab center for a couple of weeks and doing very well on the road to recovery for her femur break. Pop had called my Mom around 7AM, Granny wasn’t feeling well and needed help to get to the bathroom. So Mom and Dad went and helped (we live literally right next door), Granny was nauseated so she went back to sleep. As we were walking out the door for church at 9:45, Pop called. He said their nurse told him to call an ambulance and go to the hospital. So we immediately went over, called my aunts, and got ready to go to the hospital. I had never seen my Granny like that, her speech was slurred and something just felt wrong. It was scary.
We get to the hospital and after tests they determined she had suffered a stroke.
What? No. Not possible. I wanted to tell the doctor that he was wrong; that my Granny was strong, healthy, that this couldn’t have happened to her.
They still don’t know what caused her stroke. She didn’t have a blood clot somewhere. Her brain was fine. She just had a stroke.
But I tell ya, the Lord is faithful. He is good, all the time. He whispers grace to me when I need them most. He whispered grace in my ear when the doctor told us that the stroke hasn’t taken her mind or her speech; that she would need therapy but that she would still, essentially, be the same.
Today, one year later, I’m thankful.
I’m thankful for a God who never leaves nor forsakes us, who heals, who is a promise maker & promise keeper, and who whispered grace by letting me keep my Granny, with a few new, sweet quirks to her. And I’m thankful for how this stroke has changed her.
She now spoils herself. For 62 years, she’s put her husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren before herself. She’s never asked for anything. Now she has bought herself a Michael Kors pocketbook, has (fake) Jack Rogers sandals, convinced Pop to buy her a new diamond ring for her 80th birthday, goes shopping more than I do, and she deserves all of it. I’m thankful that she’s living life.
She’s snarkier, she’s sassier, and I’ve gotten even closer to her. We have guy talks and she always wants every detail after each date I go on: what I wore, where we went, what we did, all of it. She giggles with me, gives me advice, and has become one of my best friends. I’m thankful for that. She’s teaching me a lot, telling me a lot, and I’m soaking it all in.
When I think of who I want to be & what I want to be when I grow up, it’s always her; always my Granny. She’s the kind of wife I want to be, the kind of mom and grandma I want to be, and the kind of friend & person I want to be. Just ask around, she’s kind of a big deal ’round these parts.
Last week, my Granny walked to the bathroom with my Poppy. She is celebrating one year with Cracker Barrel for breakfast tomorrow. She went to the nail salon for a pedicure last month. She is healing, she is living, and she is the snarkiest, funniest woman I know. One year down, my sweet Granny, and you’ve come so far. I just know that next year on April 17th, we’ll be able to say you come even farther.
Thank you friends, for letting me share my heart with you. This past year a lot has happened for me, and I’m sure you’ll get tired of hearing about it, but it was a defining year for me. Stick around though, there will be more to talk about because God’s work is never done.
Until next time,