... Even last night I could hear her voice "be careful on the drive home, sweety" and her worried thoughts as we made the drive late from south Alabama to Athens.
Except this time she was not worrying.
Worry was her crutch. Whether her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren or health problem.. there was always a reason to fret. Worry is a unfamiliar stranger that has begun to creep into my life. The older I get, the more I have to lose. The older I get, the more I can relate to her.
Story after story people admired her love for beauty & artistic skill in showing appreciation of the world around her. She was an expert--a mastermind in creating a vision, intricately placing each piece of color and texture together, measuring them precisely and turning those small pieces into beautiful works of art-- quilts.
"She makes her own bed coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple. She makes and sells linen garments; she delivers belts to the merchants." (Proverbs 31)
I've always known of her love for nature. You could see it in her home, hummingbirds all around: dishes, towels and wall hangings. I remember it in her garden- flowers of every kind, planted and tendered for the simple joy of looking at them. And among her beautiful quilts was a common theme-- birds and flowers.
There are so many beautiful things about my grandmother- her faith and how it was instilled in my father, the deep & steadfast love she had for her husband, her people-personality and humorous drama. But this week, as I sat staring at the quilt that lay over her human body and as the preacher read a scripture known so well- I was overwhelmed with the most beautiful thing about my Gran:
"Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6)
Throughout her life my Gran overcame her greatest feat. By daily admiring the birds of the sky & flowers of the field and replicating them in her work she was reminded to fight her greatest weakness, worry.
It's a lesson I want to cherish & hold on to as I age. The art of not looking down or too far ahead but instead looking around. I am but a small thread in a much greater quilt- God's masterpiece. Worry not- as He is patch-working the details.
"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. Give her the reward of her labor, and let her works praise her at the city gates." (Proverbs 31)
85 years of life, 65 years of marriage, 60 years of quilting, 100 quilts... & a beautiful life to be praised.