Bible Gateway

Friday, July 06, 2007


When I married my husband, I was only seventeen years old. And like most teenagers I knew-it-all, I was arrogant, and I had to have the last word.

My husband's grandpa had me pegged right off. For instance we exchanged the following conversation.

"Texas residents vote Republican," I said as I folded the newspaper. I sat across from Grandpa.

"Ah, it ain't done it. Texas votes Democrat." Grandpa leaned back, crossed his leg, and frowned at me.

"It most certainly is to a Republican state," I jutted my chin. "It says so right in the paper."

"Phew! What does that paper know?" He cocked his head to the side, giving me his are-you-stupid look.

"If you will look at the voting statistics for the last fifteen years, you'll see..." My tone of voice changed into a chirp. Before I realized it, I was in a full throttle squawk.

Grandpa grinned. He looked at my husband and nodded. My husband laughed.

It took me years to realize that Grandpa baited me into these arguments so he could watch me squawk for his own entertainment purposes. When we would drive up in his driveway I'd tell my husband," Tonight, I'm going to do better and keep my mouth closed."

My husband would grin, "We'll see, but my money is on Grandpa."

This last week, Grandpa entered the nursing home. When we went to see him, he took me by the hand and said to my husband, "Boy this is it for me." Before we left that night, Grandpa told my husband and I both that he loved us. For the next five days his condition worsened to the point he was unable to talk. The last day he was able to speak I kissed him goodbye and told him I loved him. He said, "I love you too, Baby."

As I sat at his funeral today, I thought about memories I shared with my husband's family. His grandparents dominate the majority of my memories of our early years of marriage. They bought me my first brand new refrigerator, Grandma took me grocery shopping when I was pregnant and we had no food in the house, and they took me to haul hay with them.

My husband once remarked that we were so young when we married that maybe we should've just moved in with his grandparents instead of trying on our own. I countered that his grandparents wouldn't have been able to stand my immaturity and arrogance back in the day. But Grandma smiled at me and said, "Debbie, you're like one of my own. I would've spanked ya just like I did them."

They may not have been blood kin to me, but they were my people. They were like one of my own.

Goodbye Grandma and Grandpa! I love you, too!

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