Thursday, April 7, 2016

Her Discreet Irish Grandmother

A preview for an interview with a young, popular woman proclaimed, "She lives her life the way she wants." This is the problem with our culture right now. Every one is going their own way; a way without biblical principles and values which will always lead to ugliness and chaos. It's refreshing to hear of stories of women of old who followed biblical principles and showed the beauty of them, especially to their daughters and granddaughters. They followed the ancient paths set by the Word of God. Here is more about Katie's discreet and beautiful Grandmother.

My grandmother was Irish and her parents immigrated from Ireland before she was born. They didn't have much, and she told us stories of how she helped make "newspaper windows" in their home as a girl and how they had to be resourceful. She did not, however, have the Irish temper. She spoke gently and kindly and taught us to do the same. She stayed busy in her home and was a blessing to everyone. 

I know many would take offense to some things she taught. For instance, serving the men at the table. That was a choice she made as it was just another way to love and minister to my grandfather. He and the boys worked very hard, so it was another way to simply love and support them. We would monitor how fast/slow they were eating to see if they needed second helpings or refills on their drinks. She would nod and signal us girls quietly across the table when it was time to serve dessert. 

They had a huge garden, with sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. along with an apple orchard and a sweet corn patch. We all loved her cooking! To this day, we are still not able to replicate her apple pie squares, mashed potatoes or Irish soda bread exactly, although I have some of the recipes and still like to make them. And my Grandpa was always thankful to her as she was to him. They loved each other and held hands and smiled often, even in their old age. I never heard them fought. The house was always a happy, loving environment where we worked hard, and yet it made the hours of play and spending time with them that much sweeter. There was a lot of love to go around! And I enjoyed being dressed and presentable at the breakfast table. My mother wasn't home the majority of the time to encourage and teach things like that, so it was nice to have structure and boundaries. Maybe it sounds strict to some, but it's what we needed. 

She was very giving and always helping others. She would buy us outfits {which were a blessing} and they were always modest and of good quality. She knew how to shop deals and still get high-quality items. I loved shopping with her. She took care of everything she had and made it last. One day she called us into the "sitting room" as she called it, and showed us how to sit and stand in dresses and skirts and how to have good posture, etc. I know many women would scoff at that, but they are precious memories to me. She laughed and made it enjoyable. She taught me how to sew a button, fold a fitted sheet, clean a window just right and many other things I still do to this day. But the biggest lesson was her love for God. She prayed often and taught us to do the same. She enjoyed playing games with her grandchildren and spending time with them; we had so much fun with her! Everyone loved her and her smile. 

I can still remember looking up and hearing her beautiful voice singing hymns in church, with her standing there in her favorite light blue dress and pearls, heels, and hat. I can still smell her perfume and picture the shade of her lipstick. I can still taste her cooking and I can still see her love for my Grandpa in her eyes as she looked at him. The last time we saw her before she passed away, she told us how excited she was to be meeting her Lord and Savior soon and getting to see Grandpa again; to not be sad, but rejoice in Him. And up until the day she died, she still took care of her appearance. She still had her hair reasonably fixed with a little makeup and perfume on. No, she didn't have to do this, but she wanted to. The nurses loved her. She enjoyed being feminine. 

When I married my husband, she and grandpa gave us a beautiful cedar chest with floral engravings on it. It's beautiful, just like Grandma. I keep family keepsakes in it along with the wedding card and letter she wrote encouraging me to love God and my family. I miss her dearly. But I'll always be thankful to God for her example of love and service to others. I know she would approve of your teachings on love and homemaking. It's one reason I love learning here, because so many of the posts remind me of her in one way or another. 

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

Jeremiah 6:16