10 June 2008
One Who is Greatly Missed...
"Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art." Eleanor Roosevelt
I found this quote a couple of weeks ago and wrote in my planner for today. Today is the anniversary of the homegoing of a beautiful "older" woman. Her name was Pearl Cotton (a good southern name). She was my "Grandmama." I'm intrigued by the strength of character and conviction shown by Eleanor Roosevelt. It's the same strengths that I saw in Grandmama. She was a leader in the family. She made it through some rough times in her life but with her head held high and acknowledgement to who brought her through. She and I were a lot in common. She seemed to understand my struggles more than others. We seemed to share a lot of the same.
When things were really bad she always "had a feeling" and prayers for me were in her heart. She used to tell me "When you feel the need to pray for someone-Do It! No matter where you are or what you are doing. Stop then and pray. God put them on your heart for a reason." I try to stay true to that advice. Her following of that sure helped me out of some major scrapes.
I have an earnest respect and enjoyment of Gaither Homecoming....the old hymns. It can be traced back to laying on her couch watching it in the evenings. I used to runaway to her house. I would go for weeks without sleeping and there was something about her house and the back guest bed that allowed me to sleep every time. The peacefulness I felt when I entered the house, the calm that surrounded you in her presence... the smell of waking up to scrambled eggs with sausage (cooked into the eggs :) ), the calm of sitting on her deck looking at the azaleas and watching the lizards crawl on the brick wall.
I have my memories. Amy digging under the deck with a tennis racket to find the tennis ball but instead finding half of a snake that grandmama had cut in half earlier in the day. Eating her amazing sweet potato pie (for which we still don't have the actual recipe). Going to the pizza restaurant with her, Granddaddy, my cousins, and Amy and getting my finger stuck in the straw hole on the plastic lid. Granddaddy laughed and Grandmama was scared. She used to sew us little outfits and even adapted them to the need to hide bra straps as we got older. The need to cover envelopes with stickers came from her. There was nothing better than opening my mailbox to see an envelope with stickers. I knew it was an uplifting and yet honest letter from her.
She was one of my best friends and it's still hard. Things happen and I want to pick up the phone to tell her. I'm going to grad school and she doesn't get to see it. One day I will be getting married and she won't be there. There will be a baby one day who won't ever get to meet his/her great grandmama. She pushed me to do more and be more and accept nothing less than the best that I could do. Now she isn't here to see it. I like to think that those in heaven can see the good things that are happening for their loved ones down here....but this is often debated. Especially since she is the one who told me to "Get off the fence" and go back to school; I would like to think that as I read my acceptance letter to grad school she knows and as I walk across the stage for my doctorate degree in my funny robe and hat that she is cheering me on. She was always proud of me even when I struggled to be proud of myself.
I miss you Grandmama.....more than you will ever know. Thanks for all of your support over the years and your unwillingness to allow me to place God as anything other than first in my life. I hope to one day be as great an influence on some one's life are you were and still are on mine. I love you Gr'mama Pearl.
Her verse- "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth." - III Jn 4