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.
Oh, Abby! I think you put into words how I felt about my “Maw Maw” while she was in this world. Aren’t we all so blessed to have such great role models! Miss You, Farris
I just had to post to this blog. I love your grandmother and gradfather, and the things you say about you grandmother, we see some of those qualities often. She has served her family and her God faithfully. I admire her so much and always enjoy the time we get to visit. Whether it’s the time I dropped by after your mom passed away or when we stop to chat at church in the children’s department. Thank you for allowing us to know more about your family. I love them all dearly.
I am a big fan of your blog and a member of Ridgecrest. I work in Preschool Ministry there and see your grandparents often as they enter through the preschool department. They always have a smile on there face! They are sweet people and love you and your sisters. They can’t wait to tell us all what is going on. Your grandfather could not wait to tell me about Taylor’s engagement and that Ms. Sollie was helping shop for a wedding dress. Grandparents are special people. My Mother is the only living biological grandparent my children have, however, at Ridgecrest we have been blessed with many special grandparent figures!
Angie St John
What a beautiful tribute Abby! My first memory of Ms. Sollie is of her helping silly little girls like me, choose fabric for their “project” at the fabric store in Northside Mall in 1970something. I have watched her mother and grandmother all of you through the years and she amazes me with her total selflessness and her servants heart. When I read I Cor.13, I think of her and her wonderful example of a Christ-centered life. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Your grandmother not only was an amazing 2nd mom to me but also my idol. She was such an empowering part of my life and I owe her so much gratitude. I’ve never met a more humble and gracious woman. Ever. Your blog is a wonderful tribute to one of the greatest women I know!
Love you sweetie!
Hey Abby!That was a such an eloquent tribute to your grandmother’s amazing life and heavenly impact! So inspiring, wish I got to meet her! The girls are absolutely adorable, Pace is getting so big! Hope all is well with you! xoxo
Abby – I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!! i don’t mean to be a stalker but everytime I click on it, I catch up on you and your life for what seems like hours. In reading the blog about your grandmother, it reminds me so much of my own that passed away a few years ago….i miss her so much! I know you cherish those sweet moments with yours and I know she is a great reminder and link to your mom.