Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Grandma Goldie

This is my grandma, Goldie Archer.

This is the one of the bible verses she lived out:

11 Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget.

(Proverbs 19:11, The Message)

My Grandma always said that if you couldn't say anything nice, then you shouldn't say anything at all. And when she couldn't, she didn't.

She did this this despite the fact that she lost her mother at age 3, and even after her father remarried and had more children, she was expected to be the "the boy" on the farm where they lived.

She did this despite the fact that her husband was a drunk who couldn't keep a job. She did this after she divorced him in the early 1940's, when you didn't do that, and you especially didn't do that in a small town where people talked.

She did this despite the fact that when her landlord and companion of many years (basically, her common-law husband) died, she was evicted from her home by this man's sister and other family. She never spoke a cross word against them.

She did this despite the fact that the rope factory where she worked for 20+ years gave her less than $100/month as a pension when she finally retired. She never spoke much about the rope factory at all.

She did this despite the fact that when she moved in with us to help my mother after my dad died, I would always leave the blender in the sink after I made a milkshake. I would never clean it up, and that drove her crazy. I was about 12 and she was in her late 50's.

My Grandma was a soft person. She could have been very bitter and hard from the way her life went, and yet she wasn't that way at all. She read her bible daily, and joked with my husband about how she was a Baptist and he was Church of Christ and he was never going to convert her.

After she retired from the rope factory, she worked as a housekeeper and nanny to two different families, who both loved her dearly. She finally retired in her mid 70's to an assisted living complex where they took good care of her.

She would have been 99 this past July 1. She left us for heaven on March 23, 2001, at age 91.

My Grandma Goldie was amazing. Her middle name was Marie, and that name is a form of Mary, which basically means "bitter." Goldie's life was full of bitter circumstances.

But she never let them make her bitter. Quite the contrary -- she wasn't sweet -- but soft, having a soft answer, or a wry, funny comment. She didn't raise her voice, and she was very kind. She was someone I didn't just love. I admired her.

She was a wonderful example to me. She was an even more wonderful example to my mother. My mother claims she could get at least three peanut butter sandwiches from an empty peanut butter jar.

And of course my mother hung the moon and is right up there with God and Jesus, so that right there should tell you a lot about Goldie. Her grandeur was amazing.

Lord, please make me worthy of my heritage and thank you for giving me Grandma Goldie as such an example of You in my life.


1 Comment:

becky @ misspriss said...

Jen, that was a beautiful tribute to your grandma. I need to remember to just not say anything a bit more often!