My Grandma was born Catherine Evelyn Luker, in the tiny southwest Alabama town of Aimwell. She grew up the only girl in a house overflowing with 6 brothers. Affectionately, she was known as “sister.” Sister grew up, married “Little Preacher,” and had five babies of her own. She managed to raise them without ever learning how to drive. These are some of the most simple facts about my Grandma, but there is something extraordinary about this sweet woman.
I have never been able to really wrap my mind around all that she is, and some days my heart feels like it wants to burst to try and explain just what compels me to stand in awe of her. I think one part of it is that she can’t imagine there being anything about her worth somebody’s notice. She works hard, all the time. As I rack my memories I have a difficult time knowing what she looks like sitting down. She’s always up, always serving. The first place she goes when she walks into our house in Dothan is the laundry room. If there’s too much for her to finish during her visit, then she loads it up and takes it home. She would show up with breakfast at our house every morning if we would let her. In all honesty, I think that if the doctor told her that I needed a new heart, she would lay down on the table without one moment’s hesitation and ask him to take hers. If I protested, she would shush me angrily and say, “Well, Abby, you need it!” As though that should be explanation enough.
She is also an accomplished seamstress. She made my Mom’s wedding gown, my prom dress, and Pace’s Christening gown. Not to mention countless dresses, outfits, curtains, and bedding for her grandchildren. I am always amazed at her appreciation for modern fashion. She can look at a new dress and marvel at the fabric and cuts. I bet she would have made a great fashion designer if she’d been given the opportunity.
She laughs hard and loves to hear all the intimate details of our love lives, baby dramas, or friendship struggles. She has always been our allie. Begging Mom and Dad to let us spend the night with her, and then letting us uproot every closet and drawer in the house, cook in her kitchen, walk to the store down the street to buy our own treat, stay up late watching whatever we wanted on TV, giving us spoons and telling us to go ahead and make mud pies, leading us to a huge jar of pennies and encouraging us to use them to bet in card games, and watching all this chaos unfold around her with a smile on her face. You will never leave Grandma’s house in want of nourishment. She asks every 10-12 minutes if you want something to eat, and when an actual meal hour does roll around her famous phrase is, “Get up there and go to eatin’.”
She has taught a 4th grade Sunday school class at her church for a million years and still takes the time to study her lesson and gather materials for her craft-time every Saturday night. She has GREAT faith, and it is profound in its simplicity. There have been countless times that my immediate family has been comforted by her matter-of-fact belief in her God and His sovereignty.
In essence, she is a saint that walks among men and she can’t even fathom it. She has lived life with little in the way of worldly possessions or noble accolades. However, she has served God and others without ceasing, and that is beautiful. I hope she is with us for a long time yet, but when God does gather her into his arms I can’t wait to see the honor he gives her in her new home. I hope that she will finally allow herself to be seated and served…but I doubt it.