It’s interesting the things that remind us of someone after they’re gone. My Grandma died 14 years ago, and there are a few things that always make me think of her. Amish furniture- because she loved it and owned it. Car phones- because she was the first person I knew who had one. And I had no end of excitement of calling my Mom from the car. Oh, and open house signs. She was a Realtor and I would help her lug them around and push them into the ground. And then recently there were two distinct things that had me thinking of her.
Last week we had a really windy day. It was especially noticeable to me because it was trash day and the whole neighborhood was filled with everyone’s recycling and garbage as it flew around. Much of it landed in our yard. As I drove home, my car was being swayed by the wind and I heard my Grandma’s voice, clear as if she had just called me on the phone like she used to on days like this- saying, “Did my girl blow away today?”
I could count on it like clockwork. Any windy day and Grandma would give me a call to ask the same line. It surprised me how clearly I could still hear her voice in my head after so many years. She was a tough woman with a strong voice, but gentle when she spoke about, “her girl.” As the only granddaughter (at the time) with 7 grandsons, she loved to introduce me as her, “favorite granddaughter” while she drew out the word favvvorrrrite for emphasis. That was my cue to roll my eyes and say, “I’m her only granddaughter” which would elicit a polite smile from the new acquaintance and a proud, beaming grin from my Grandma.
This past weekend we sang an old hymn at church called, “There is a Redeemer” written by Keith Green’s wife Melody. I can’t remember the last time I heard this song, but the words were so familiar they came right out.
There is a redeemer, Jesus, God’s own Son
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah, Holy One
Jesus my redeemer name above all names
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah oh, for sinners slain
Thank You oh my Father for giving us Your Son
And leaving Your Spirit ’til the work on Earth is done
When we got to the, “Thank you, Oh my Father” part I heard my Grandma’s voice belting out the lyrics in her loud church singing voice, as if she was standing next to me instead of Andy.
I’m a sucker for old hymns, they’re always my favorite. When I learned this song was written in 1977 I wondered if in 15 more years I’ll have sentimental feelings about DC Talk or Audio Adrenaline. Probably not.
I’m not sure why certain memories come to us when they do. But I’m really glad that they do. It’s funny the things that remind us of people after they’re gone.