The book I’m now reading, Eye of My Heart, is a compilation of stories about grandmothering, given to me by my dear sister-in-law, newly blessed with granddaughter Lola. As the compiler says, these stories show the “glories and glitches,” the “pleasures and perils,” of grandmotherhood.
Which has made me think not only of my experience as a grandmother—ideal in that my daughter and my daughter-in-law seem to welcome my every move on their children, bless them!—but also of my experiences with my own grandmothers.
My paternal great-grandmother, Julia Ann Denning Briley, was known to be feisty. “You can’t get away with anything around Miss Julie!” folks would say. I also think of her as perky, for she scampered around, talking to everyone and making everyone feel special.
My most special connection with her was truly “up close and personal.” She would have me lace up her corset before we went to church, taking pride in her tiny waist and erect posture long after other women had gladly ditched their corsets. She made me feel loved without restrictions, and I adored her.
She died when I was nine—my first experience with the death of someone close to me. I was devastated. For years I would tear up at the thought of my precious Grandma Briley—a situation I used to advantage when I thought tears would help me get what I wanted. Not something I’m proud of. Just a fact of my childhood.
Grandmothers are also mentioned in the Bible. Can you identify any Bible grandmothers that had a specific connection with a grandchild?