Wrinkled skin. Bruised arms.
Gray, wiry hair pulled back behind a headband wrapping around her frail crown.
Eyes peeking behind glasses that help her see- see her children, her grand-children, and me, one of her 14 great-grandchildren.
Fourteen of us. I’m one of fourteen. One of fourteen who knows that sweet, wobbling voice she has. One of fourteen who has listened to her stories, has heard her struggles, and knows her heart.
I know her smell. It’s like the CoverGirl brand of blush. I remember spending the night at her old house, admiring her giant pantry. I can hear her stories in my mind, the ones about growing up poor, falling in love, about taking in the baby with no home, and trusting Jesus with all her heart.
“Is she your inspiration?” someone asks me.
She’s a flawed old woman with years of life hanging plainly from her shoulders. No doubt she’s told some lies, broken hearts, and made a few wrong decisions.
Haven’t we all?
But I’ll bet she’s also saved a life or two, with her smile, a timely pat on the back, a kiss on the forehead, or an “it’s gonna be alright, sha.” I bet she’s been a shoulder to cry on and a friend to confide in. I bet she’s prayed a thousand prayers.
“Is she your inspiration?”
I don’t know if I would have thought to give her this title before I was asked the question, but as I sit and watch her hold the baby on her lap with the little bit of strength she has left, my answer is this:
She is quite the inspiration.
Because of knowing her, I am inspired to love and love and love until there is no love left.
To love in the selfless way.
To love and then love some more.
To trust Eternal love even when earthly love lets you down.
To hold on for as long as Jesus says to hold on, and not let go till he says it’s time.
She has been, is, and will be remembered as inspiring.
Her name is Evelyn. Evelyn loved hard.
Here’s to you, Granny. You are my inspiration.