One evening during AWANA's, I spent the entire time visiting with Nita in the nursery. Nita is quite an amazing woman. I just love talking with her - such a Godly woman of prayer. I'm always encouraged after I see her.
Somehow our conversation made it's way into her life and the jobs she'd had (that's an amazing list). Her last place of employment was at the Veteran's Home here in St. James, and that sparked my interest. "What years were you there?" I asked her. And don't quote me, but I think it was something like 1984 to 2002 (or close). She also told me that Shirley (another wonderful woman I know!) worked there during some of those years as well. This was intriguing to me because my grandma worked there during that time, too.
My thoughts sort of drifted off to my childhood. Since we lived in Rolla, and since St. James is only 8 miles from there, occasionally mom would take me to see Grandma at work during lunch time. Sometimes we would get a McChicken at McDonalds (my favorite at the time) and take it with us, also picking up something for Grandma! We'd visit, but probably for only 30 minutes or so.
I told Nita about this, and I wanted to remind myself to ask Shirley about it, too. I wondered if either of them would remember her.
Last night, I drove Shirley home after our church service. We started talking, and I mentioned my grandma working at the Veteran's Home. "What was her name?" she asked me.
"Gladys Lehnhoff" I responded.
"Yes, I remember her. She was a daytime aide. I have a sugar cookie recipe from her."
If you're reading this Shirley, I want you to know that I had a few tears in my eyes after you told me that (thankfully, it was dark). What's amazing is that my grandma has been gone for 15 years in May, and I still think of her quite often. I wonder what she would think of my kids, of my husband, of the life I have. I wonder if she'd still live in that little apartment in Belle...the one where I spent so much time, the one that I'd go to when I pretended to be sick at school just so I could watch The Price is Right with Grandma. I wonder if she'd make Wacky Cake with my kids, let Sarah play with her hair and paint her nails, let Caleb build her a big house out of those lego blocks she had. Or...my favorite memory...would my kids help her decorate her Christmas tree each year like I did with my sister?
I miss her...and this is probably why I'm so willing to make every attempt to let my kids see their grandparents and spend fun time with them as often as I can. I know they're creating memories that will last forever.
Grandma with her kids: Uncle Jim, my mom, & Uncle Roger.
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