My grandmother’s house was a special place. It’s located in
When she passed in 2001 at the age of 102, we wondered what would become of it. It was an emotional time for the family, but the result could not have been more fitting to honor her memory.
The house was acquired by members of the church and converted into “Jerusalem House”, a base for missions in the local community. Services include employment assistance, job training, ex-offender transition, support services, food pantry, financial assistance, information, referral, medication assistance, parish nurse program, pre-natal education and psychological counseling.
http://www.jhousetn.org/ (there’s a button for donations, if you’re interested).
Susan Fleming 1898 - 2001
1898 - 2001
As the years passed and our family grew, the front steps were hardly enough to accommodate the brood. Inside, regular church members courteously moved from their favorite pew in order for us to sit with Mamaw. Roses were always placed at the altar in her honor and the preacher recognized her as the oldest member and the member with the most family in attendance that day. There was never a contest in those categories.
We will gather again at
When I went to the nursing home for what turned out to be the last time, she had digressed to the point that most of her speech was impossible to understand. She would always look into my eyes and hold a gaze – like she was examining me – and that nonverbal communication was enough. This time, I leaned close to her ear and loudly said, “I love you, Mamaw”. She gripped my forearm and looked into my eyes again and struggled – but she distinctly grunted out “I – love – you”, taking a breath between each word.
As family members talked at the funeral, we reflected on the hard times she faced – hard times none of us will probably ever know. She lived on a subsistence farm in remote, mountainous
If all that wasn’t enough, she sent her first two sons (including my dad) to WWII. Recently, my aunt shared some letters from Dad to Mamaw when he was in service. Once again, the bond was evident. I wonder why he never talked about it?
This Mother’s Day, don’t forget your grandmother, mother, wife, or daughter. Have a blessed day and cherish the time you have together. You will be creating lasting memories that your children will carry with them for the rest of their lives – just as I am sharing with you today.