I remember the days of old,
I think about all your deeds,
I meditate on the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. (Psalm 143:5-6)
On this day, December 21, one hundred years ago, Lillie Robinson was born. Lillie is my grandmother, my Grandma. For her birthday, my family is gathering with balloons and cake and cards to celebrate. It isn’t every day that your Grandma has a 100th birthday! The party won’t be a long one, and it won’t be a memorable one for her. Grandma doesn’t have much memory left these days. She remembers some old hymns. Her favorite in recent months has been “This World is Not My Home,” and she will sing it over and over again. But Grandma doesn’t remember us–she no longer recognizes even my dad. When I visit with my sisters, she is always glad to see “her friends.” Her gradual loss of memory over the past two decades has often made me sad, but today, on her birthday, we will be her memory. We will remember for her.
We will remember her days of old. We will think about God’s good deeds, and we will remember how she loved God all her life. We will ponder on how God worked through her to bring peace and joy to those in her family and community. Today, we will remember for her.
We will remember the family she created with my Grandpa, her four children and the sweet baby, who died not long after he was born. We will remember all her grandchildren and the goody bags she made for us. We will remember her world-class cornbread and out-of-this-world delicious hot rolls, which she made every time we were at her house. We will remember how hard she worked on the farm, planting and picking vegetables, gathering and washing eggs, kneading the dough for her rolls, and taking care of her family. We will remember how she hugged us tight, never letting us forget that we were loved. Today we will be Grandma’s memory, and we will celebrate one hundred years of a life well lived, a hard life but one full of love. Today we will remember for her.
Pam Durso is executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry, Atlanta, Georgia.