call your grandma

The phone rang this morning at 7:20. Normally I’d be up with the girls, helping them get ready for school. But once we got the Snow Day news, I couldn’t resist climbing back in my warm bed.

When I heard the phone, my first thought was “something’s wrong.” But when I heard my grandma‘s voice on the other end, I knew all was well. She must’ve just had something to say and wanted someone to say it to.

“Hi, Grandma. How are you?”

She chuckled. “Well, there’s a mouse in the house!”

“A what?”

“A mouse.” And she told me this great story about seeing a mouse in her room at the nursing home and the nurses being none too thrilled about it. We chatted for awhile, then said good-bye, and I went back up to bed once more.

She called again tonight at 8:00. “Did I already call and tell you something?” she said.

“You told me about the mouse this morning.”

She laughed. “Yes. Well, I was looking through a book tonight, and I know you’re a book lover.”

“I sure am.”

“And I found a poem about Abraham Lincoln. Maybe I’ve read it to you already?”

“Nope, I don’t think so.”

She read me a delightful poem about young Abe going to great lengths to procure a book he really wanted to read. But then when he got back to his cabin, he couldn’t read it, because he didn’t have a candle. So he gathered some kindling and started a fire and read by firelight.

I loved it.

“Now I’m going to shut my mouth and let you get to bed.”

I told her I loved her and that it would be awhile before I needed to get to bed.

The other day she called to tell me about a picture my cousin Camy had just sent her. A picture of all 6 of her boys (she also has a daughter). It’s a rare thing for all 6 of her boys to be together (the youngest turns 50 today–Happy Birthday, Uncle Chris!), and this photo is one she’ll treasure for the rest of her life.

I told Gabe today that Grandma needs Twitter. Or facebook. Or a blog. Basically, an outlet for her many, many thoughts, ideas, insights, funny stories. She’s a passionate communicator. (We have quite a bit in common.) I can’t imagine living in a nursing home and having a humorous thought pop into my head and no way to express it.

Thankfully, Grandma has her own cordless phone. Two of them (she charges one while using the other). She told me tonight that she’d been talking so much that they were both almost out of juice.

“I’ll tell Dad to get you a third phone,” I said, laughing.

“No,” she said, “that’s my cue to shut up.”

I, for one, hope she never shuts up. Grandma turns 89 on Valentine’s Day (we’re having a surprise party for her on Saturday. shhhhh!!!). And I hope I get a phone call from her every day for the next 10 years (at least!).

I don’t think she knows about Changing Your World going out of print, but as she was hanging up tonight, she said, “Don’t ever stop writing books!”

I won’t, Grandma. As long as God is calling me to write and speak, I’ll do it.

But, even more importantly than that, I won’t stop listening. To tales of mice and nurses. To poems about Honest Abe. To your beautiful laugh.

Who in your life needs you to pick up the phone and listen to him/her for a few minutes today? Tell me. Then make the call.

21 thoughts on “call your grandma

  1. whimzie

    This was a sweet, sweet post, Marla.

    I know what! You tell her stories! I think she’d like that.

    Thanks for the reminder. I”m making a call list today.

  2. gretchen

    My grum and I are very close. She lives in IA, and I live in WA, but for about 12 years, she and my mom and I lived together, while I was growing up. We chat at least once a week. She turned 84 and even more opinionated on Feb. 5th. 🙂

  3. Kim Webb

    so so sweet, makes me really miss both my grandma {{sniff sniff} I would love to hear their voices on the other end of the phone. Funny story, my grandma (dad’s mom) had a phone in her bathroom, across form the potty – you never know when you might need it.

  4. Ali

    Your title says it all. Mine is 88 and counting. She insists that she’s ready for Heaven, but I remind her often that God must be keeping her around for a reason. She shakes her head and says, “well I don’t know why.”

    Thanks for the important reminder.

  5. Maxine Robison

    Joan Yoder and I have had many sweet enjoyable conversations —sharing and bragging about our wonderful grandchildren. As you know, Joan and I are blessed with the same five great Robison grandkids.
    Happy Birthday, Joan, from your Texas friend.

  6. Jen your cousin

    Hahahaha! Oh, dear sweet Grandma! This post makes me miss her so much! I can hear in my head exactly how she would have said each of those lines. You are so blessed to have lived so close to her all your life. Thank you for sharing this. It makes her feel a little closer to this distant granddaughter.

  7. Tiffani

    I adore grandparents. I was raised by mine. Both are still living and I love soaking up time with them.

    I love taking my babies to the nursing home to visit. It shows them how to love on others even if we don’t know them and how wonderful it makes them feel!!

  8. Heather Harmon

    Marla I’m bawling as I’m ready your blog about your Gram. I cherish and adore me Grandma! I came to live with her when I was 5 months old so there literally isn’t a day in my life that I can’t remember her. Grandmas are amazing women, aren’t they! Her views on life are spot on even if I really don’t want to believe her. Thanks for a great post I needed that today;)

  9. Chris Yoder

    What a precious tribute to Grandma! She certainly knows how to brighten up a day, doesn’t she?:) Bless her heart!:) And bless YOURS, for sharing your thoughts about her!:) Love you!:)

  10. Tug Taviano

    pretty neat, wish I could call my Grandma…wonder if I could speed dial Jesus, if he would let me talk to her…I now have the dvd of Grandma singing Karaoke to 98 degrees….it is hilarious!

  11. amber

    This post makes me weepy.

    I don’t have any surviving grandparents anymore, but my Nanny used to call me about random things like mice and poems. Gosh, I miss her. Soak her up, friend. So precious.

  12. Kelly

    You should totally Tweet for her. There’s an account out there called ‘”crap” my dad says’ (except, it’s not crap) and it’s this son posting all these quotes by his 74 year old day. Some are downright hilarious. Some are…well, inappropriate. HOWEVER, I think you could post the gems your grandma says and get gobs of followers. I know I’d love it! 🙂

  13. Joanne @ The Simple Wife

    Oh this makes me miss my grandmother, Marla. So I’m just going to borrow yours in my imagination, okay?

    I miss you, girl. I do keep up with you here (though I’m a horrible lurker–horrible!) but am wishing you could come sit by the pool this afternoon and we could chat while our girlies swam and splashed around.


  14. Laura

    I love your Grandma! Always, Always a very special lady! As I was reading your post….I pictured her in my mind with her beautiful smile!

  15. Michelle

    My Granny lived with us for 17 years. She was my best friend and closest confidante. She had twenty something grandchildren and had the gift of making everyone think they were her favorite (even though I knew it was really me!). This weekend it will be 13 years since she went to be with Her savior. I miss her so much sometimes I hurt on the inside. I teach seniors in high school and was just telling them after a short story discussion how they should spend as much time with their grandparents as possible. You enjoy every second with yours and party it up this weekend. Encourage her to write her stories down. My husbands grandmother did that and her book is in the Library of Congress. It was so cool to see it when we visited there. I didn’t learn as much from my history books in school as I did from reading her book.
    Thanks for the great post.

  16. Joslyn

    This post brought tears to my eyes. My grandma is 92 years old and I don’t make time to see her enough. I need to make it a priority to make sure my kids get to know their great grandma, now that I live so so close to her now I’m squandering the opportunity.

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