This is my grandma, Mary Joan (pronounced Jo-Ann) Yoder. She goes by Joan, but don’t address letters to that name, please. She’s Mrs. Harold J. Yoder, thank you very much. Even if she did take the word “obey” out of her wedding vows almost seven decades ago because sure, she’d love and honor her husband, but no way was she obeying him. However, she told me something once that I’ve been sharing with women every time I give my “intimacy” talk.
See, I didn’t tell her about Is That All He Thinks About? for awhile after it came out, because, well, she’s my grandma, and I want her to like me. I finally called her and told her I’d written a book encouraging women to love on their husbands. I explained that it was about sex but tried to make it sound really mild and stuff. She was all for it right away and said some things that made me wish I’d interviewed her before writing the book. The quote that stands out in my mind was this–“You know what your grandpa told me?” (He died four years ago) “What did Grandpa tell you?” “He said–you never turned me down.”
Whoa. I share that with women, and they’re all like, whoa. Whoa. Now, coulda been that Grandpa had selective memory. Who knows? But I love it. And as much as I want Grandma to be here with us until she’s 108 (she’s 88 right now), I know she’s itchin’ to be in heaven with her man.
Thanks for praying for a sweet time with Grandma today. It was indeed. And it was a sweet time with my mama. And with our friend, Bek, who is keeping Grandma in her home for awhile and taking care of her 24/7. Please pray for Mom and Bek. They’re doing an awesome job with Grandma, but it’s not easy. God knows the specifics, so if you’ll just pray, I’d be forever grateful.
It’s not easy watching your Grandma’s memory go. We did it with Gabe’s grandma Marilyn a few years ago, and it was just plain hard. It’s tough to know what’s worse–watching your loved one decline or having them taken from you suddenly. I’m just going to treasure whatever time we have left–and trust God that He knows the perfect amount (of time), and that He’ll be handing out the perfect amount of grace to each one of us, come what may.
Grandma can still play a mean game of UpWords. We played twice–me, her and Mom. I beat Grandma both times, but Mom obliterated me. She’s been playing UpWords with Grandma for YEARS. I bet they’ve played thousands and thousands of games of it. I love that Grandma loves words (she’s a book-a-holic, a letter-writing fiend, and a former librarian). My mom loves words too–voracious reader and writer of a zillion journals. Oh, and UpWords Queen.
Grandma’s not Mom’s mom. She’s Dad’s. So, I get this Word Stuff from both sides. And that’s fine by me.
We talked about my Zoo Book. And about my cousin’s new baby girl. Her memory is pretty good when it comes to that stuff. But it’s the little things that get her. Mom was reading a princess book to Nina, and they were on a page about Snow White. “What was that little dwarf’s name?” Grandma asked me. “Dopey?” I said. “Yes, Dopey.” Then I rattled off the names of the other ones. Three minutes later, she looked at me and said, “I know! Dopey! That’s the little dwarf’s name.”
Then Nina made her a green (cookie-cuttered) heart out of Play-Doh. Grandma thanked her and told her it was beautiful, then set it on the table beside her while she was eating her lunch. Fifteen minutes later, while Bek was cleaning up her plate, Grandma picked up the heart, handed it to Bek, and said, “Here–I don’t know where this came from.”
And she forgets how long she’s been chewing her food. And she forgets to swallow and needs reminding.
And on and on it goes.
But it was still a sweet afternoon, and I’m looking forward to more like it. And I’ll take lots of pictures. And enjoy all the moments God gives us. And thank Him for the hundreds of beautiful memories I’ve collected–and treasured and pondered–of my grandma over the years.
I love you, Grandma.