My grandmother has been a widow since World War II.
That is only a slight exaggeration, but it is the version she tells when she wants to make a point. The literal truth is that she was widowed shortly before the 40s ended. She was 24.
Growing up with Grammy, hearing about her life, gave me a unique perspective on life and relationships. Mostly that there is no guarantee your beloved will be there forever. There is no way that she could have known before she turned 25 she’d be a widow with two little girls. I distinctly remember my 24th birthday and how strange it felt to think how Grammy’s life had been at that age.
When her husband passed away, Grammy moved in with her parents. Her father, told her that ‘if he had a crust of bread left, he’d give her half’. Having carried a large family through the Great Depression, he had a more literal understanding of that than I every could. My Grammy worked hard, and was determined to provide for her girls. She never remarried, the story goes that she didn’t want another man to be a father over ‘his’ girls.
As I grew up, I’d wonder, what would be harder…to never love someone? Or to lose them like Grammy? What would I rather? Normally, I’d say it would be harder to lose someone like Grammy had and I’d rather never love someone. Now I’m not so sure.
I’ve now finished four stories, and each time I’ve had the same reaction. For about a week there’s this emptiness like everything inside has been poured out and I need to reconnect with life around me. Dragon and Priest took more out of me then any of them since finishing my first book. Once I found my energy again and mentally went through the list of responsibilities that demanded my attention, I found myself dragging my feet to continue to work on my last fairy tale book. I decided The End to a Fairy Tale can wait a little longer, it’s not going anywhere, I want to write Grammy’s story.
I want to write about how she lived a life that she strived to give glory to God. How she taught her girls when they’d go places, to ‘remember Who you belong to.’ How she struggled, and went through very dark times, and it wasn’t easy. How more than anyone I have ever known, she relied on Christ in place of a husband. And I want to be able to hand her a copy of her story, show her, ‘look Grammy this is you, this way your great-grandchildren can learn the lessons when you’re gone that you taught me and mom.’ She always wanted to be a missionary and do great things for God, I want to show her how she has and how her story will live on.
I have alot of work ahead of me.