In celebrating Grandparent’s Day on September 10, we have received stories from people who have vivid memories of their grandparents. Here’s an interesting one by local author, teacher, and homeschooling grandmother Ruth Denise Lowrie, sharing her story about how her grandparents impacted her life.
by Ruth Denise Lowrie
“Ruth! Are you going to let her get away with that?” Those words, spoken by my grandmother to my mother, struck fear into my little heart. I don’t remember what I did wrong, but fortunately for me, Mommy did let me get away with it.
When Mother’s mother, a widow, retired at age sixty-five, she announced to my mother and my aunt that she would live with each family, alternating each year. She kept that arrangement for twenty years. She mainly taught me what a fun grandmother was not. She never read me a book, sang songs, or told me stories about her life. She mostly sat in a comfortable chair, doing needlework that Mother provided for her. However, even though she had dementia, she could recite the poem, “Hiawatha’s Childhood” from memory. The human brain is truly remarkable!
My father’s father, also a widower, was a “different story.” I believe that I am a Christian today because of his testimony and prayers for me. He had been a missionary in China and a physics professor, and his brain remained sharp until the end.
When I was in High School, I walked to his apartment so that he could help me with my physics assignments. It was a very special time for me. I appreciated his words of wisdom and answers to my physics questions (although I didn’t want to know that much).
When he turned eighty, he wrote a letter to us saying he would die soon, but we were not to mourn, because he was going to be with Jesus. Of course we all cried; we loved him so much. Ten years later, I visited him for the last time. He was in a nursing home, where earlier, he tutored boys from the nearby middle school and taught Bible lessons to other residents. Bedridden and wracked with arthritis pain at that last time, all he could do to minister to others was pray. We talked about that letter, and he said, “That was my way, but not the Lord’s way.” He died not long after, leaving us with many happy memories.