2008-03-07 - My Grandmother: An Unexpected Gift
"If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging." (Romans 12:8 NLT)
There must be twenty stairs at least, I thought to myself, as I gazed at the steep stairway that lead to Maria's apartment. I sighed quietly, held tightly to the rail, and made my ascent. Maria opened the door and greeted me warmly. "Leetza, I'm Grandma," she said in her thick Italian accent.
The word "step" has never been in Maria's vocabulary. Right from the start, she has always treated me like one of her own. Even though I'm not a mirror image of her son, and her physical traits aren't evident in me, there is no question that I am her grandchild. She has always made me feel loved, and like I belong.
She is an Earthly example of love and selflessness. "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
Through the years, I have become the only granddaughter who makes the effort to have a relationship with Grandma. The other kids see Grandma Maria at holidays and birthdays, and send an occasional thank-you card - but that is the extent of their communication. Why wouldn't they pursue a bond with her? Perhaps they took for granted having a grandmother. I always saw her as a cherished gift.
Grandma Maria hasn't passed on to me her well-known beefaroni recipe or any crochet and knitting hints, but she has shown me the value of love and acceptance. When I first took the trek to meet Maria in her apartment, I was apprehensive. Nowadays it's a breeze to climb those stairs, because I know my sweet grandma is waiting for me.
Lord, place people in my life that can encourage and bring out the best in me. For those people, I thank You and ask that I not take their love and friendship for granted. May I show them support in return. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.