IT’S THE curse of getting older — you know — being told that we are acting like our parents by taking on their traits, actions, and beliefs. And it’s true. Now, at 39, I find it happening to me, except I don’t take after my parents. I am slowly evolving into who was the matriarch of our family for over 70 years — my grandmother.
Affectionately known as Mimi, Dorothy Wilson was one of the kindest and most pleasing people ever. She called us “babe” and constantly fretted about one of us getting hurt. She was always cooking, and everything she made was delicious, even if she didn’t think so. Most of my childhood was spent helping her break beans, make biscuits, or watch the “Andy Griffith Show” with her and my grandfather.
However, there was another side to her that few got to see. Mimi could be a firecracker and was a stickler for presentation. You didn’t present things or yourself any old way. You were clean and dressed, and the house also needed to be clean. She educated herself constantly. She wasn’t going to discuss anything without studying up on it first. She wanted things done a certain way, and that was the deal. She worked unbelievably hard to make her household what it was, and she wasn’t going to have anyone tell her how to run it — not even her husband of 72 years, whom she adored.
She also was fervent in her faith. Both she and my grandfather were devout Christians who served in the Methodist Church as Sunday school teachers and helped in many other areas of the church. She knew the Bible by heart and read it every single day.
While proud to be Christians, my grandparents’ faith was an action or way of being. It wasn’t just about scripture, dressing up on Sundays, or believing in God. It was about acting out their faith wherever they went and in whatever they did.
Now that she is gone, I find myself acting a lot like her. I can be a firecracker. I worry too much about my children, try to cook, educate myself, and, most importantly, move in my faith. While I miss her terribly, I think about all that she left for me in my heart. Both she and my grandfather left me with faith.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
It can’t always be seen or even felt immediately when we put our faith in action. Doing the right thing or helping can take days, weeks, or even years to see fruition. There is also the chance that we may never see our good deeds make the change we had hoped for. But if we have faith, we know it will all work out for good, whether we see it or not. My grandmother was proof of this. Her faith lives on through Joan, Sherry, Keri, myself, and all of the lives she touched.
Mimi taught me that the word of God is essential, but it is also vital to carry it out through our actions and words. Our faith is affirmed in how we treat others and walk through life. So, I’m good with being told I’m just like my Mimi; I hope I can do her justice. GN