This is my last surviving grandparent, lovingly known as “Ma-Ma”, sitting with my hubster, Brian. I was blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with both sets of grandparents growing up. Time which would leave an indelible mark on my life.

Ma-Ma was well-known in her little community of Fairforest, just outside Spartanburg. She baked pound cakes to cut and share with sick friends or shut-ins on a weekly basis. The gifts of mercy and encouragement were key ingredients.

She also made a habit of taking me to nursing homes where her frail friends and family resided. In all honesty, those were the last places I wanted to be, but Ma-Ma would quickly remind me that Jesus would be doing the same thing and how much it meant to those we were visiting.

Today, thirty-five years later, I’m heading over to visit Ma-Ma, who now resides in a nursing home (a.k.a. assisted living). When I go there, I will be at ease. I will look forward to touching the arms of those lingering in the hallways or saying hello to people who cannot return the favor. I will especially look forward to seeing my grandmother’s face light up when I walk into the room.

Isn’t it cool how my grandmother, all those years ago, took me to a place where few people wanted to go, and now, because of this very reason, I look forward to visiting her in the place where she resides? I’m thankful for Ma-Ma’s willingness to not only treat me to fun outings as her granddaughter, but to also show me the painful and lonely side of life. I look forward to passing that same unforgettable blessing on to my grandchildren.

At age 89, she continues to tell people about Jesus in her assisted living home. I want to be like her when I grow up.

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