You’re my favorite granddaughter!

My grandmother—affectionately called Grandmartie—showered me with love and filled empty spaces in my young life and into adulthood. She had that way about her.

My mother and father worked full time, which gobbled up much of their time.  Fortunately, Grandmartie lived close by.

I loved being at my grandmother’s house. Memories flooded my heart when I came across the pictures of me sitting on her lap, along with her dog Judy. And blowing bubbles on her back step with my brother Greig.

My grandparent’s spacious backyard allowed room for Greig and me to play, and became the place of family gatherings when the weather permitted. How well I remember perching on their lawn swing, and leaning over the edge to let the juice and seeds of my scrumptious slice of watermelon fall on the grass.

Some days after school, I’d bound up her backstairs, calling “yoo-hoo,” a greeting I learned from her. The delight in her face when she saw me trot around the corner into the kitchen sent an undeniable message: “You are special. I’m glad you’re here.” Often, she’d ask, “Want me to fix you an eggnog?”

Quality time. That was her greatest gift. It didn’t matter what we were doing together. Her presence poured love, personal interest, security, and devotion into my heart. Her words and teaching built confidence within me that eventually overpowered my shyness.

After I went away to college and then ventured to California to begin serving with Cru, an international Christian organization, her influence continued. I looked forward to receiving Grandmartie’s personal notes, crafted in her beautiful, unique handwriting.

She believed in me and prayed for my future. My choice to join the staff of Cru brought her joy, because she had talked to me about Jesus from the time I was small. She knew I had stepped on a path where I would have the chance to help others know about Him.

After living and working in California for seven years, I accepted an overseas assignment with Cru in the Philippines. Soon I began receiving Grandmartie’s airmail letters relating her latest ventures and news of the family, as well as encouraging words and wise advice.

Then she and my mom began talking about traveling to the Philippines for my first Christmas. A wrinkle in that dream plan surfaced when someone knocked her off balance at the retirement home, and she broke her hip. Still she was determined to make the trip to see me. After six months of vigorous therapy, she boarded the plane with Mom. Her age? 86!!

Little did I know that my Grandmartie still had more years ahead to love and nurture me. Just short of 100, she left this earth to be with her Lord and Savior. Yet, her legacy of love has enabled me to become the woman she envisioned and the person God designed me to become.

The greatest gift anyone can give us is love. What special person has poured love into your life?

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;
and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”