My grandma was a quiet woman, a loyal woman, a woman who deeply loved her family, had a strong will, a bit of a temper and red hair. She loved to watch Jeopardy! and seemed to know most of the answers. She always kept a yard stick by her chair to spank us, though I’m not sure she ever used it. And, my grandma was afflicted with Rheumatoid Arthritis. This disease is horrible, and not at all like “regular” arthritis where you have aches and pains. You have mind-numbing pain and basically your body is “eating” itself. My grandma had a fake knee, at least one of her hips was fake, her one elbow was fused into place and her fingers were gnarled and curled because of the RA. Because of all of these things, that only got worse as the years went on, she was unable to do much outside of the house. Many probably thought she just sat around watching soap operas and ate bon bons. My grandma was not perfect, and she had a disease that took away her outside beauty, but what many people didn’t know was my grandma was a prayer warrior–the fiercest kind as far as I’m concerned. She prayed for everyone in her family, she was on the prayer chain for her church and she probably prayed for folks she didn’t even know simply because they were dear to one of her loved ones. I guarantee she prayed for the salvation of unsaved family members as she was dying and taking her last breath. My grandmother had a mission field just in her living room, in her chair. She may not have been out doing stuff, but I believe my grandma did more for the Kingdom of God than most of us will ever do.
Another thing about my grandma, and this is what kept her alive for so long, was she had a HUGE stubborn streak in her! The woman was independent and she was not to be fooled around with! I have to be honest and say it could frustrate me to no end. It was so hard for me to watch her struggle to do simple tasks when I knew I could do it much faster and save her some pain (I NEVER once heard her complain about being in pain, by the way). I learned quickly that she did not want the help and she was not too pleased to be offered help! I learned that this stubborn woman needed her independence because so much had been taken from her. So much control had been lost due to a disease she didn’t ask to have.
During this pregnancy I have come to relate to my grandma a lot more, especially where the stubbornness and independence is concerned. There are other areas I am like my grandma, but this one probably sticks out the most–just ask my mom! 🙂 I have been sick with pregnancy stuff, sinus infections, viruses, etc most of this pregnancy and it has been so hard for me to ask for help. I have, on more than one occasion, overdone it and made myself sicker because I was just too dang stubborn to ask for help. However, I have come to a point in this pregnancy that for the sake of the baby I have to rely on others. I have to lose my the tight grip I hold on my independence and let others help me. I have to let my mom, sister, MIL, and friends come help me with Cora, with the house work, with laundry, cooking and grocery shopping. If I don’t I could cause this baby to be born before it’s safe. I could hurt myself and well, I just have to let go. I have had to say “no” to doing a lot of things for the health of the baby and myself. It has not been easy, and I’ve hated every second of it, but it’s necessary.
What I found so frustrating in my grandma I have now come to appreciate. No, I don’t have a horrible, debilitating disease and this pregnancy is coming to a fast end, but I can appreciate how hard it was for her to let go. I remember at the end of her life my grandma knew she could no longer do anything for herself–from going to the bathroom to fixing something to eat. I hated seeing this strong, independent woman have to give up things that were so simple. It was so hard to have to do those things for her, not because I didn’t want to help, but because I knew what it must have been for her to have them done for her. As I temporarily give up some of my independence and ask people for help I’m trying to remember that it’s OK, I’ll live, and will probably be better off because of it. I love my grandma dearly and miss her so much even though she’s been gone for several years. I appreciate the stubbornness and independence she gave me.
What do you need to let go of today, even if just temporarily?