Two years ago this May, I lost a very dear friend of mine to kidney cancer. Even though we were not related, I always thought of her as a "Grandma" to me. Some of my earliest memories at church are those of falling asleep in the pew beside her. I think that as a younger child, I just always wanted to sit by her because she gave me candy every Sunday. As I got older, I began to really just cherish her company. The day I was saved, I asked her to come to the altar with me. As a teenager, I could talk to her about all my secret crushes. I told her when DH and I were engaged before I even told my mom! In a small church environment bustling with gossip and judgmental attitudes, this woman simply offered her practical service to God through her sweet, humble, and caring spirit.
IF has gotten me thinking more about her lately. You see, I had always noted that she didn't talk about children. She never had any family come to visit at church like everyone else did. But I never knew why until my junior year in high school. We had a writing assignment, where we had to interview a senior adult about their life growing up, the most important things they learned in life, that sort of thing. So I chose to write about my "Grandma." She told me about her life growing up on a farm with lots of siblings, about all the chores they would do to help out. Then she told me about the accident. When she was about 8 years old, a young man that worked on their farm somehow ran over her while he was driving a wagon or buggy... She smiled as she told me "He felt so bad about it that he bought me a brand new dress and some shoes." (Or something like that...I just remember it was pretty miniscule). But the accident left her incapable of having children. She said she and her husband wanted/tried to adopt, but they just couldn't get around to it or it didn't work out.
Of course as a high schooler, the thought of infertility was, in a way, over my head. All I could think about was that must have been so sad for her. Now that it hits quite a bit closer to home, I wonder how she really dealt with it. Because of somebody's careless mistake, she was robbed of the ability to experience pregnancy, to experience birth, to experience motherhood. Did she really just humbly accept a pair of shoes in its place? I wonder how she really felt during her younger years, as she watched all her friends have children, and watched them grow up.
There are some days I wish I still had her shoulder to lean on, that we could talk about this. I miss you Grandma.