Yesterday would have been my Granny Agnew's 87th birthday. She was one of those people that if you knew her, you instantly loved her. She was filled with mercy and grace, and had the best sense of humor and an infectious giggle. When I was with her, I felt like I was the center of the universe--and to her...I probably was because when I was around, everything seemed to stop so she could spend time with me.
Mildred Agnew was a woman of strong faith and love. She loved her family and her God with all of her heart. That love spilled out to everyone who knew her. As a child, I remember sitting in the living room, and her reading bible stories to me...David and Goliath, Jonah and the Whale, and Sampson and Delilah. We would sing songs, and have the best times together.
Granny Agnew loved to walk. She would take me with her on her walks around the neighborhood. At the age of 64, she would walk about 5 miles a day, up hills on a little country road on the edge of town. As a child, I remember going on those walks and talking about how pretty everything was. We had some of our best talks on those walks.
When I got old enough to like Barbie dolls, we would sit in the floor, and I would pour all of the clothes out on the floor, and we would dress those dolls up and play. Somehow she always did what I wanted, and while some may consider that being spoiled (which with her, I probably was), it made the time that we had together special. Because of that, I knew that I was loved.
We had a special friendship, one that I don't necessarily see with kids growing up today. You see, my granny was a friend, but looking back, I can see that she was a big mentor in my life. A lot of the time that she poured into me was fun, but it was also having a hand in shaping the woman that I would become. As a child, she read to me constantly, and when I learned to read, we would read together. I think that gave me my love for books and learning.
She used object lessons about whatever was happening that moment to teach me about life--although I probably did not realize it at the time, she was preparing me for my adulthood and knowing how to handle the things that life would throw my way.
My grandmother came down with cancer when I was in Jr. High. I remember sitting on her bed, when she was so sick. I looked at her and said "This is not fair.", and I meant it too. It was not fair that she was suffering so...but she looked at me and told me "Who are we to tell God what is fair...when I go to the doctor for my treatments, I see little children, and think this is not fair, because they have not had a chance to grow up and have fun like other kids..." Although I never knew the impact of those words at the time she said them, I remember them twenty something years later and remember them when things don't seem fair.
The bible tells the older women in the church to mentor the younger ones. I am so lucky to have had some great women to mentor me. My mom and Granny Agnew probably were the two biggest influences on my life, my attitude, and the way I look at things. I have been blessed to have such people in my life to guide and shape who I am, and today I thank God for putting them in my life to show me the way.
**The pictures of the Daffodils and Marigolds were chosen because Granny Agnew always had these flowers growing underneath a tree that was up from the garden. We would sit under that tree and talk...or eat fresh homegrown strawberries. When I see them, I always think of her!