Warning: I feel a long blog a-comin’ on, so hold on to your mouse and for some of you, grab that box of generic tissues.
There were several things you could always count on at my grandmother Irene’s house; homemade pancakes with those little bottles of syrup from Cracker Barrel on Saturday mornings, the smell of fresh mint as you got out of the car in the driveway, the best biscuits you’ve ever put in your mouth, being tucked in up to your eyeballs whether you wanted your arms out or not, Wheel of Fortune seemed to be on all the time, birdhouses in the backyard and fresh tomatoes on the vine. But there are two things that stand out among the rest.
The first is that she always, always sat in the evenings and did her nails. She had this floor lamp that had a table around the stand and it always held a tube of hand cream, nail polish remover, a natural color nail polish and the cheapest nail file she could find. There was a pride she had about her hands; she had the softest hands I’ve ever felt.
I guess that is why when she was bedridden by brain cancer, you could find me sitting by her bed doing her nails. Even when they were yellowed and brittle from her body shutting down, I wanted her hands to be pretty and soft. She died 15 years ago last week and I just can’t get her out of my mind.
One of the last moments of her life that she responded to me, before the cancer dragged her into the darkness of death, I stood on her vanity stool in my homecoming court evening gown. She cried. Perhaps because she knew she wasn’t going to make it to see me on court or because of all the gowns she knew she was going to miss; my high school and college graduation gowns, my wedding gown, my hospital gown at the birth of her third great-grandson. Perhaps she saw the future and came to the realization that she’d have to view it from above.
The second thing and by no means the least, is Grandmother had this habit of saying “Praise the Lord.” I always thought she meant it as simple praise, but as I’ve grown into adulthood and had my own share of troubles, I realize she may have been reminding herself to always “Praise the Lord” in all things.
Danny and I have certainly been tossed about in the waves of this storm, but I’ve always come back to the peace that comes about with a simple “Praise the Lord.”
I will do this again now as I share with you how the Lord has blessed our family.
Danny has had incredible days at therapy. “Incredible” is the only word that Candy (therapist) could use to describe Danny’s progress. He has taken numerous steps independently with his right leg, he now only needs two people to aid him with the standard walker, he walks in the pool just holding on to the shoulders of the therapist. He stands at his sink at home to get dressed now and has even brushed his teeth while standing there. Corbin is very proud of his Daddy and I am too. While all these improvements are exciting, the most significant change is his attitude.
A couple weeks ago at 4am, Danny woke me up to talk. Now, Danny wakes me up a couple times during the night to turn, but this time he needed to talk. It seemed that he’d been up since I turned him the last time, about two hours. He couldn’t sleep, so he decided to pray. And, what came out of his mouth was not short of amazing. It wasn’t just one night, but three nights in a row that it seems God kept him awake and during this time, I feel like Danny was truly healing from the inside-out.
Danny talked about the future and the work he’d like to do, who he wants to hire and the house he’d like to have. He talked about another baby. But, yet, it was the spiritual epiphany, if you will, that excited me the most. He felt convicted to apologize to some people and has since acted upon that, he came to the realization that God has been waiting for him “to lay it all down.” What was so amazing is that the words coming out of his mouth were completely his own. It wasn’t like we’d been talking about spiritual stuff or even about the future. He really talked to God and his therapists and those close to him, noticed the difference.
Now, I’d like to say that all things have been peachy since, but as we Christians have come to know, when things are looking up, Satan likes to punch you down again. So, the best place to make the most impact, our marriage. I know that if we allow Satan to mess with our marriage, it will have a negative impact on all things relating to us and our families. It is, afterall, our marriage that Satan was trying to divide four years ago, but you know what? Come August 16, 2009, we will have been married longer post accident than we were before Danny’s injury.
It was an odd revelation to me. Word has it that the first year of marriage is always the toughest and I remember we always were wondering when the tough part was coming. We loved being married and loved each other. Although those are wonderful sentiments, it is the post accident marriage that has been beaten, but not broken. We have learned more in these few years than most couples learn; the three person marriage is absolutely the key to success.
My Grandmother would have loved Danny and I’m sure she does from heaven. And she would have fallen head over heels for Corbin. There is a small part of me that wouldn’t be surprised if she personally picked Corbin for us. He is our angel and the most normal part of our lives. But, reflecting on my dear Grandmother, I will hold on to her lesson of example and “Praise the Lord.”