Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mary, Mary, Quite........Lovely

Mother's Day is yet to arrive but I know it will be a happy and thankful one because of them.
And because of these five.

But whatever you do, don't forget three more.

Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

My friend, Marilyn, and I were talking and writing about the legacy of Christian mothers and grandmothers and she asked me what I hoped mine would be. My first thought was that I really don’t want it to be about me because it’s not about me. Yes, I want those children to know how dearly I love them, what joy they have brought to me, that I love the Lord Jesus Christ and fully expect that they will, too. If I had to choose one message to leave with them it would be this from Deuteronomy 30:19, 20 as God uses Moses to tell the children of Israel:”I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore, choose life, that both you and your descendents may live, that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell in the land that He swore to your fathers.” I want my grandchildren one day to meet me in heaven so that we’ll together see the King of Glory dwelling in the land He promised our fathers.

Thinking about grandmothers with Marilyn has caused me to think about my dear grandmother again. Here is how I picture her from the years we had together. She was something. I remember watching her as she sat on the side of the bed praying. She'd whisper her prayers aloud. Oh, how I wish I could hear those prayers now. Or better yet, pray with her! It is a great source of joy that one day she and I will together watch the King of Glory as He passes by.

Here she is with two of her three sisters.

Each of the four girls was named for a queen. Isn't that lovely? Helena Venet is seated with my grandmother Mary Elizabeth to her right and Anna Leona to the left. Evidently baby sister Charlotte Antoinette was napping or something.  The sisters grew up in Forreston, Illinois, at the turn of the century.

                                 My grandmother on the right with her sister, Helena.

Their parents reared them in the Dutch Reformed Church. Her daddy was the postmaster, pharmacist, and dry-goods store owner.  Is she not adorable? And talk about a hair bow. She'd make a great First Pres Day School girl, wouldn't she?

The sisters graduated from college (Valparaiso) back in the days when few women did. She was a sharp little tack and skipped a few grades along the way. This is her high school graduation picture from 1911 when she was 16 years old. I have her dress!

My grandmother was probably about the 800th baby girl in her family named Mary. Here she is with her grandmother Mary and her mother Mary Anna holding my mother Mary Joyce. My elder sister is Mary Nan, my second baby girl is Mary Kelly and her first born is Mary Margaret. I've often wished I'd gotten the name. Oh well. I've been given so much there is no room for complaint.

With so many of my friends becoming grandmothers, in honor of Mother's Day I'm going to begin posting ideas for "effective grandmothering." (That's code for valuable fun.) You'll be seeing this little face when I post a grandmother idea. How darlin' is my friend, Francie, dressed as a 100 year old woman in honor of the 100th day of school? Wouldn't you like her for your granny? You'd better behave or she'll rap your knuckles with her cane.

I'll close this post with one of Gramma's poems. She had memorized hundreds upon hundreds of stories, poems, plays and readings. Over the course of her 96 years she also kept a daily journal of the day's weather, the mail she and Grampa received, the main news headline of the day, what they had to eat and any family news worth mentioning. Yep. I have those journals, too, and they are one of my treasures. Here's the poem:

Guest, you are welcome here, be at your ease.
Get up when you're ready, go to bed when you please.
We're happy to share with you such as we've got.
The leaks in the roof and the soup in the pot.
You don't have to thank us or laugh at our jokes.
Sit deep and come often, you're one of the folks.


  1. love this!! they are blessed to have you!! i also love the named-after-a-queen idea!!