Recently, we said good-bye to my husband’s Grandma Dorothy. I am proud to say that I had many opportunities to spend time with her and loved her very much. She will be greatly missed for her kind smile, beautiful quilts, and delicious monster cookies.
One of the things I admired most in Grandma Dorothy was her unwavering willingness to listen and learn about the lives of those for whom she cared. In any conversation, Grandma would always listen and then say, “Is that right?,” with a smile, smirk, or frown (She also wasn’t one to hide her feelings well).
She never let her ninety years of experience get in the way of understanding what was helping, hurtful, exciting, or enhancing to the lives of those around her. Grandma openly accepted that people are different and that the relationships we build are ones that deserve attention, nurturing, or closure because that’s how we grow.
Sitting on her couch the afternoon of Grandma’s passing, I couldn’t help but glance at the rocker that had been so frequently filled by her and ached to hear Grandma say those words, “Is that right?”
As children always do, mine provided great comfort, insight, distraction, and healing through the process of Grandma’s visitation and funeral. The night after her funeral, I said extra prayers with each kiddo in Grandma’s honor. As we wrapped up our devotions, my daughter said, “Mom, I heard that when you pray a Hail Mary, an Our Father, and a Glory Be someone from purgatory goes to heaven. Is that right?”
There was that question again!
I told her that was a question for heaven, but I sure hoped prayers were answered for someone that day.
She followed up with a tearful, “I know Grandma Dorothy is in heaven.”
It was my turn to say, “Is that right?”
“Yeah, she is with Grandpa Joe, Aunt JoAnn, and Grandpa Carter. I just know it,” was her teary, but confident reply.
I hugged my girl, wiped my own tears, and knew my sweet daughter must be right.
Put energy into keeping an open mind. Let your purpose be to learn about the situations of others. By making considerations for what others have been through or are experiencing, we allow ourselves to love them to the best of our abilities. If we never leave behind our willingness to understand, we can always say we are in search of what is right.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Grandma also always said to put socks on babies’ feet and to pray every day. As a 90 year-old, mother of eight, grandmother of 23, and great grandmother of 43, she probably knew what she was talking about.
In memory of Loretta “Dorothy” Fick ~ July 5, 1929 – January 10, 2020