To the woman that I am privileged to call my grandmother and my role model.
I wish that you could have met her, just once. I wish that you could have sat next to her, and sipped a cup of tea with her in her front room, whilst watching the strange outside world fly by.
But most of all, I wish that you could have heard her laugh.
When she laughed, the world stood still.
Yes, there was a certain something about her contagious giggle, something so distinctive and seemingly effortless, something joyful and and yet so simple.
As a young girl I watched her, I saw her and I followed her.
Time and time again I sat with her, and played with her hair, twisting her white soft curls around my seven year old fingers.
Day after day, I wrote my stories and read them too her, one by one.
“Brilliant!” “Superb!” “Splendid!”
She was always positive and always caring – I was lucky to know her.
However, what I – the hairdresser and the aspiring writer – failed to realize, was that behind every Victress, there lies a victory, and behind every victory there lies a battle.
Nobody can deny the presence of pain in a world so corrupt and broken as ours.
Nobody can comment on the ease of forgiveness, or at how simple is is too look into the eyes of someone who has hurt you and wronged you, and yet still find the courage to speak the three most powerful, freeing, confusing words that this world has to offer:
“I forgive you.”
I cannot write her story, because I truly know so little about her struggle – I did not witness her challenges, her trials or her pain.
Yet, what I saw and what I witnessed, was something of far more worth and value, something truly deserving of admiration.
What I saw was the outcome.
Somehow, when I consider her life, when I look at her journey, the battle does not seem so overwhelming.
Each time I look at her, each time I remember her, I see her countenance, filled with love and overflowing with joy .
Every time I think of her, I try to look for her scars, after all – we all have our own scars. Those bitter wounds of a world determined to break us and crush us, the marks of a world so intent on denying every flicker of hope from our eyes.
Yet, each time I look, every single time, I cannot find anything.
The trophy of her battle is the strength of her character.
The mischievous grin of a cheeky grandmother simply up to no good, the enthusiastic drive of a woman so motivated by adventure and the overwhelming joy of a lady empowered by a love far beyond her.
Yes, I miss her.
I miss seeing the curve in her smile and the look in her eye when her favorite song played on the radio.
I miss the way we danced together, and the way she used to twirl me, around and around and around.
Today I smile, because the seeds that she planted as an act of obedience and the steps of bravery that she took when all seemed hopeless, have a meaning and a purpose, even now.
I smile, because although I no longer hear her, walk with her, and talk with her – I can be like her.
And I smile, because what she started years ago, what she chose to surrender and how she chose to live, began the process of what I can only think to call – a legacy.
So as we return to our lives riddled with concerns, decisions and questions, let’s ponder on a thought unique to our own lives, our own stories, What will be our legacy?
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31: 25