Grandma and my three aunts had a very big house with many rooms but let me sleep in the same bed with her. The windows were from the floor almost to the high ceiling. It had a long staircase in the front hallway leading to the upstairs. As a teen, I thought it would be nice to have that house because it would be great for big parties. The rooms were huge except for the kitchen. The heating bills must have been enormous! Harry actually considered buying it when the last of my aunts died, but didn’t because the neighborhood was on the decline.
Here’s a list of some specific fond memories I have:
Playing restaurant with their good dishes. How many people do you know who would let a preschooler or Kindergartner play with their good dishes?
Playing church with me acting as the Pastor serving communion. My grandma and aunts thought it was cute, but I really wanted them to know Jesus as their Savior and this gave me a way to tell them.
Playing with a horse knickknack that had a broken leg. She even let me keep it. At the time I liked horses because cowboys rode them and I was into cowboys big time. I had that little horse for a very long time. I just threw it away recently when I was trying to get rid of some of my clutter to give Gerard less to dust.
Going shopping downtown with Grandma. We used to eat at Higbees by a fish pond that was in the restaurant. She always told me I could buy something but usually I didn’t really see anything I wanted. I do remember getting a “Let’s Take A Trip” game but don’t know what happened to it.
Just enjoying being with her and watching her work in the yard. We just liked hanging out together. I can’t remember her ever once raising her voice. She was such a loving, gentle woman that I admired tremendously and always had fun with her.
My parents asked me for suggestions as to what to buy Grandma Arlettaz for some holiday—(I think Mother’s Day). After some serious thought, I suggested a sliding board. I really thought she would like one for her yard because she liked to do fun things. My parents disagreed and went with something else instead.
I always wanted to grow old like her—staying active and thin. It was very sad when she had a stroke and came to live with us because she couldn’t talk. It was frustrating for her and my parents. I felt very sad and was angry at the doctor for not being able to make her better. She had medicine to take but didn’t like it and it seemed like it was an ongoing battle between her and my mom. I was upset that she gave my mom such a hard time.
When grandma Arlettaz died, I really had a lot of anger toward the doctor and God. I felt like the medicine battle was a waste because it didn’t make her better anyway. I remember I rode my bike up and down the drive as fast as I could when I heard she had died.
I was very mad at God too for letting her die but not so mad that I turned away from Him. In fact, just the opposite was true. I prayed and prayed for God to raise her from the dead, thinking that perhaps He was testing my faith. I don’t recall how old I was, somewhere between 5th grade and 8th grade I think. I knew he had raised people from the dead in Bible times and had faith that he could still do it if He wanted to. I had a very special bond with my Grandma Arlettaz and knew God loved me so would certainly answer my prayer of great faith. Then I began to sort of become afraid that he would and started hoping I wouldn’t see her ghost. I thought, since she was already buried, if she came back to life, she wouldn’t be able to get out anyway. That’s when I finally accepted the fact that she was dead for good and realized that God knew best after all and forgave Him for not answering my prayer the way I wanted. He did answer—but the answer was no.
What fond memories do you have of your Grandma? Have you ever prayed in great faith and not had your prayer answered the way you wanted?
To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here.