I am about to go to Illinois for my paternal Grandmother Mabel Ball's 100th birthday party. I am flying with my sister Rachel and brother's Dan and Brad, and my 1 year old Grace. I am so excited about seeing my grandmother and many aunts, uncles and cousins I rarely see. My sister Tirzah gathered tributes or memories from children and Grandchildren. Below is mine.
Every thinking person hopes to create a legacy that will leave a positive impact on those who follow. When the time comes to handoff the baton to the next generations, our desire is that our counsel, example and influence; our very life was able to teach the ones that have been entrusted to our care the most valuable lessons we have learned. In the great relay race of life, my Grandma Ball has succeeded in this quest.
Growing up in Mississippi, we were able to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Illinois about once a year. I always remember walking into a house that was filled with the smell of delicious rolls or cookies baking. I remember the pewter “Give us this day our daily bread” server that Grandma always served her bread on. When she placed this on the table it signaled that it was time for the meal to begin. After of course giving thanks for the bountiful blessings God had provided. I remember the cozy smell of morning coffee that was a daily ritual at the Ball household (and to this day the inviting smell of coffee brings back memories of Grandma and Grandpa’s house).
Grandpa often publicly complimented Grandma on her beauty, and her warm service. She would act a little embarrassed, but I know she took to heart his loving pride in her. Even when we were very young, Grandma always made us feel like we had great value.
As I have grown older, each time I see Grandma, I am able to enjoy conversation with her on what has become the most valuable source of strength in my own life; God and His word. All through the years of joy and trial, there has been a dominant theme. Grandma has always chosen to trust only in the goodness of the Lord. She is in love with the Lord and His word. She has used her teaching gifts in Bible Studies, and daily conversations to always honor the Lord, and show His love in everything she does. This heritage and legacy is one that brings tears of gratefulness to my eyes. We live in a broken world, but God’s answers to the prayers of my grandmother, my parents and even the generations before them are a treasure that will be with me forever. This greatest gift: The introduction to a personal relationship with God, a gentle teaching that His word is the instruction book for life. He can be trusted with our very lives. For this gift I am most grateful to my dear Grandma Ball.