I didn’t know that the big red brick house was an orphanage. To me, it was Grandma’s house.
That meant lots of kids to play with–all races, ages, and backgrounds. I didn’t know why they were all at Grandma’s. They were just my buddies who I liked to be with.
At Christmas. Grandma cleared one bedroom and covered the floor with mattresses, converting it to a gym. It was perfect for practicing cart wheels and back bends. Carmen could bend her body like a pretzel!
After the grown-ups talked, we got to decorate the Christmas tree. Long needles reaching almost to the ceiling. All us kids gathered around the tree and hung the ornaments and silver icicles, nice and straight so they looked real.
When the tree was decorated, we’d gather around the l-o-n-g dining room table. Grandma, wearing her green calico bib-front apron, would serve meat, mashed potatoes, and carrots, always sprinkled with pepper.
How I loved being at Grandmas!
As an adult, looking back, those memories continue to remind me that even in the midst of brokenness and pain, there is hope. Grandma built hope into the kids there….kids who didn’t know what hope was. She considered each person was worthy and significant. Never, did she let any of them “age out.” She adopted them! One of them was named Alta, who I will tell you about soon.
When Grandma died, the obituary called her the “Mother of many.”
Take time to say “I love you” to those you love today!