My Guardian Angel

Submitted by Windy Frazier February 2010 Windy knew her grandfather was not an average man. His unbreakable spirit could inspire anyone. While serving in the army he suffered a terrible accident that handicapped him from the waist down. Years later it even became necessary to amputate both his legs at the knees. In spite of his obvious physical limitations, he never let that get him down. Windy was raised the majority of her life by her grandparents so naturally their influence played a huge part in her life. She dearly loved her grandfather and deeply cherished the time they were able to spend together. When he passed away on April 3, 2004 a large void entered her life. We’re all familiar with the saying, “Time heals all wounds.” That wasn’t the case for Windy. As each day passed she found herself longing to be able to see him and talk to him. When she was younger, he would intentionally come up behind her and grab her on the neck. He knew it aggravated her but it was always done in love. It was his way of showing her he cared. Oh how she wished she could communicate with him just one more time! Years passed and Windy’s life was hectic. Working mothers seldom have time to themselves but even in the midst of all her organized chaos she still thought of her grandfather every day. It happened while she was at work. Filing charts had become almost second nature so she often found herself in her own little world while performing this task. Reaching down to insert a chart...

A Christmas Spirit of Love

Submitted by Pam Boswell July 2010 One cold winter evening in 1998, Pam was snug and secure in her living room engaged in a labor of love. Her husband happened to be out of town but she didn’t mind. She welcomed the occasional solitude because those times allowed her to indulge in activities that relaxed her. This particular evening her project was a baby dress she was smocking for her granddaughter. As the television droned in the background her hands performed their task skillfully, almost without thought. Sitting in her favorite chair she felt a sudden brush of air across her face and instantly the scent of her paternal grandmother filled the room. She stopped and playfully exclaimed, “Grandma, is that you? I bet you came to see what I’m making!” Hunny, Pam’s nickname given by her family, knew her grandma was right there with her watching with pride. Grandma, being a seamstress, had played a huge role in teaching Hunny to sew at an early age. Her presence and scent was a familiar and overwhelming comfort. As Hunny continued smocking, her mind reminisced on many evenings spent with her grandma. Later, Hunny retired to bed at her usual time. Nestling her head into the pillow she replayed the amazing encounter with her grandma. It had been such a wonderful comfort just having her near again. Before Hunny could even finish her thoughts it happened again. She felt her grandma’s presence close to her pillow and again that familiar scent. Hunny instinctively knew Grandma was kneeling at the head of the bed saying a prayer on behalf of her...

Remembering Ma

Submitted by Jack “Chuck” Provine February 2010 Chuck sat on the front porch of his Grandparents old home place, exhausted from a day of cleaning & packing. The sad responsibility of removing a lifetime of possessions had fallen on Chuck but he felt it was a privilege to say goodbye to a time, a place and to two people that he loved with all his heart and that loved and cared so deeply for him. The house behind him was dark and empty now but in his mind’s eye and in the secret places of his heart it would always remain lit and alive with precious memories and tender mercies. This was the place where he always felt safe and secure. It would forever be a place where love lived, the place that made him who he was. In the quietness of the moment and awash in tears, he replayed scenes of his childhood now lost to time and maturity: The faint echoes of children at play; the whack of a whiffle ball hitting a plastic bat; the children’s cries of “You’re it!” Big, sweet juicy watermelons accompanied by seed spitting contests “‘Mater’ samitches” with tomato slices so big they would hang out the sides of the bread A simmering pot of chicken ‘n dumplings on the stove with his beloved Ma tending the pot The wooden mop handle that transformed into a white horse and a hearty “Hi-ho Silver away!” Endless summers of swimming, skating, cane poles, cherry popsicles and vacation bible school Nap time with the sound of the black metal oscillating fan lulling children to sleep...

Never Give Up

Submitted by Renee Canada January 2010 The excitement in the air was practically tangible. Renee had been accepted into the University of Memphis nursing program and her list of things to take care of before classes began that fall seemed endless. There was perhaps a touch of nervousness as well; college. nursing school. It was her first significant step towards adulthood. It only seemed natural for her friend to be there at her side. First stop, the scrub store where she was fitted for her very own scrubs. She purchased the necessary materials and they headed for the University bookstore on campus. It was there that she picked up her stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, pen light, scissors and more. Her anticipation became overwhelming. She really was about to start nursing school! Reality crept in as she was standing at the register watching the total continue to grow. Wow, that was a lot of money. Renee began to question whether or not she was really ready for such a commitment. She knew nursing school would not be easy. Could she really do it? As she attempted to push those feelings aside she noticed the manager of the bookstore approaching her and her friend. He asked them if they would be interested in a 2 week job at the bookstore. It would only be at the beginning of the semester when they were at their busiest. The girls looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and replied, “Why not?” They followed the manager over to the lounge area so they could fill out the application. Renee placed her newly purchased supplies...

My Grandfathers and Me

Submitted by Julie James November 2009 Recalling childhood memories often bring to mind warm, secure, happy thoughts of our loving grandparents. They influence our lives in a way our parents cannot. Quoting the famous author Alex Haley, “Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.” Whether it was for a summer or for frequent regular visits, spending time with our grandparents allowed us a different look at life. As children, we were able to see firsthand the values that our parents tried to teach us, simply by spending quality time with the very ones that taught them. Growing up Julie was fortunate to have Grampa on her father’s side of the family and Grandmother and Granddaddy on her mother’s side. Grampa still worked and he traveled frequently with his job as a printer, but whenever time allowed he would show up unexpectedly at Julie’s house. There were many times when they would come home to find him on the doorstep. Her mother would look at her and say, “You’ve been praying again haven’t you?” Julie’s response was a simple smile and a nod of the head. He spent as much time as he could with her and she loved him dearly. Julie would never forget that day. It was a cold winter morning when she was awakened by people talking. It was not yet daylight so they were speaking in hushed voices. She could tell by their tone something was wrong. It wasn’t an easy thing for a six year old girl to understand. Overcome with sadness,...

A Love of Lilies

Submitted by Jenna Printup Weaver October 2009 Young girls can be strongly influenced by the women in their life. Such was the case for Jenna. Growing up she spent a lot of time with her great-grandmother who was lovingly referred to as Nanny. She was a petite, soft-spoken Italian woman whose loving presence grounded the entire family. When her husband died, the decision was made for her to move in with her daughter, Rose; Jenna’s grandmother. Jenna loved going to see them. She would spend hours with Nanny watching TV and reading books. Over time she learned to appreciate the same passion for flowers and music that her Nanny had, with lilies being their absolute favorite. Jenna was thirteen when Nanny passed and although it was a sad time for her, there were moments that she could feel Nanny’s presence. It was always a comfort knowing Nanny was there. It wasn’t until she began driving, however, that Jenna started receiving her strongest signs. She attended Midnight Mass every year and each time it was the same. Upon entering the church she would feel a slight gust of wind across her face and the overwhelming aroma of lilies. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt it was Nanny letting her know she was with her. For several years this went on, but eventually stopped. Jenna continued on, growing up and experiencing life lessons along the way. One lesson proved to be very difficult and she found herself becoming very depressed. In spite of the rough time she was going through, she managed to get herself up and go to...