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Grandma's Influence
Photo: Alexander Raths
Have you ever had a special person in your life that you were so close to you considered them family?

I have been blessed in this way. As long as I can remember, there has been a special lady in my life that I thought of and considered my grandma. I have many wonderful memories of times we spent together and things we did. In fact, part of the reason you are reading this is because she encouraged my interest in writing. The memories and the lesson I want to share with you come from her last weeks of life.

After eighty-seven years of living and working on a farm, Grandma fell and broke several bones. This left her bed bound. I never saw her stand or sit again. Despite her condition and hospice’s grim prediction, she maintained a good attitude and never complained. I considered visiting her a privilege more than a duty and was blessed in return.
Her voice was often barely audible, but she would share pearls of truth she had uncovered in life. She would ask questions about my family and me and was interested in what we were doing. That’s when I was struck by the thought that reaching out and touching other people’s lives is not influenced by our mobility. The world is full of people running around in their self-centered existence who don’t stop and take the time to care about others. Grandma was so weak she could barely lift her hand to scratch her nose; yet, she was still reaching out, caring, and touching lives.

"He'll Do It!"

Here is one example of Grandma’s ability to still touch and influence a life.

She had always told my son, Caleb, that he was smart, and he would be president someday. During her final days, Caleb accepted our youth pastor’s challenge to learn a hundred Bible verses. We told Grandma one morning that Caleb was going to try to say the hundred verses after church that day. She responded,” He’ll do it!” Caleb was nervous, but he did say the hundred verses flawlessly.

That night when I was walking Caleb to bed I told him how proud I was of him. Caleb asked me, “Do you know what helped me?” I gave the standard, correct answers and said that studying and prayers had helped. He nodded in agreement, but replied, “What Grandma said helped me get through it.” 

I knew it was one of those moments I’d never forget. From her deathbed, Grandma’s words had inspired Caleb and given him additional confidence to face the challenge. What a lesson!
I believe we all have something to say, to share, or to give. It may be as quick and uncomplicated as a hug. It may be as simple and as important as an encouraging word. 

Will you reach out and influence a life today?

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By Donice Palmer. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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