My Grandma Allen was an amazing influence! She lived nearly 100 years, and accumulated so much during that time.
She had a lot of moxey. Grandma was patient and understanding, but not a pushover. If she believed in something, she stood for it, no matter the general consensus. Whatever the situation, she was always a lady.
She had a lot of love. See, she is my great-grandmother, grandmother to my dad. He spent a lot of time with her and she loved him dearly. I know she loved all of her grandchildren, but I
think Dad was her favorite! And that trickled down to flood me with love, too.
She had magic. Grandma had a shelf in her cupboard that I believed held magic. I couldn’t reach it myself, so when I needed the magic, she would get it for me. I told her one day that I had an ear ache and the magic came down to heal it – Fig Newtons! After that I had a lot of ear aches when I went to Grandma’s.
She had intelligence. In her younger years, Grandma was known as Miss Lola Buck, one-room school teacher. I can just imagine her corralling all those different aged children and filling their heads with the knowledge they needed
for life. She would be patient with them, I’m sure, but they better not get out of hand or they would see the disciplinarian Miss Buck. She never
stopped learning throughout her life, reading about and absorbing all that went on around her.
She had resilience. Grandma survived many heartbreaking days. Her first marriage dissolved, but then she found the perfect match in Earl Allen. Her middle child died of breast cancer in her 40s. Grandma told me no mother should live to see her child die. In fact, Grandma outlived all three of her children! That’s how resilient she was! I use her example to face difficult days in my life.
She had bravery. We lived with Grandma for a few weeks when our house sold and the next wasn’t ready yet. One night Dad suggested we have tacos for dinner. Grandma had never eaten a taco and she was nearly 70 years old. She was brave enough to try them, but I don’t remember ever having tacos at Grandma’s again.
She had faith. She loved the Lord and lived to please Him.
I treasure every Grandma Allen memory and lesson. Her influence helped me be who I am
Mom says I’m a lot like Grandma Walker.
I hope so.
Grandma Walker was amazingly creative and resilient. She was a teenager during the Great Depression and learned to use what she had. If something was no longer usable for its original purpose, Grandma would fashion it into something else. She did not waste anything.
Grandpa Walker was creatively talented, too. I never knew him because he died at age 46. But from what I hear, he not only could build anything -- like a house -- but he also could sew and do needlepoint!
Of Grandma’s four children, Aunt Shelby suffered a brain injury during birth that left her mentally retarded. Grandma did not institutionalize Shelby. She kept Shelby at home which was trailblazing in 1942. When Aunt Shelby was older, Grandma was part of a group that created a sheltered workshop for mentally handicapped people like Aunt Shelby and later a group home where Shelby could live. Grandma did not waste anything.
My grandma was a dreamer like me. She always wanted a dress shop, as she called it. So at age 54, she bought an established business in our hometown. She took that simple dress shop and expanded it to a mini mall complete with a tea room. Folks could take a break from shopping by enjoying soups, salads and desserts along with their tea or coffee. She developed this in the late 1960s.
When the main industry in town failed so did the business, but Grandma did not fail. She liquidated and hit the road. The company she hired to help her close the store hired her to do the same for others across the United States. She was 64 years old.
When she “retired,” she became a caregiver to “old people” – some of whom were younger than her.
Grandma loved the Lord and trusted Him with her life. I like to think she sees what I’m doing and tells Jesus, “That’s my girl!”