Today was my grandmother's 83rd birthday.

Or so I thought.

Yesterday we made plans to spend a girly afternoon lunching and shopping, just Meema, Corrie and me. 

My phone rang at mid-morning today.  It was Meema, and her voice sparkled:  "Guess what I gave myself for my birthday?"

"What?" I asked, hoping that she (who never splurges on herself) had really tied one on.

"Another YEAR!" she giggled.  "I lay in bed this morning and realized I was born in 1927–it's my 82nd birthday, not my 83rd!  I gave myself a whole year!"

Armed with that kind of good news, we headed out for our celebration, driving through the bank and pharmacy, because we know how to party.  Then we headed to a little local bakery near my house.  It's a small, family-owned place, only open for a few months.  Their chocolate chip cookies make a girl's eyes roll back in her head, and this quaint place has quickly worked its way onto our list of favorites.

We ate and talked and laughed through our leisurely lunch.  After we had finished and paid, I slipped back to the restroom, while Corrie and Meema strolled toward the car. 

Or so I thought. 

I came out of the restroom to find my grandmother, always quiet and gentle in everything she does, talking softly with the hard-working owner of the bakery.  The woman smiled, and she reached out to touch my grandmother's arm.

As we walked on to the car, I asked her what it was all about. 

"I just told her I was praying for her," Meema said.  "I told her that every time I round this corner, I pray that her bakery will do well.  I think it would be a hard time to start a business.  I just wanted her to know I was praying for her."

She paused, and added quietly, "She said it meant a lot to her."

Of course it did.  It always does, to know that someone breathes your name in prayer.  I should know–Meema's prayers have carried me longer than I can remember.  During some times when I couldn't even speak my own, her prayers bore me up and kept my feet moving.  The bakery lady and I are blessed.

I helped Meema into the car and watched her gently pass a stick of gum to my little girl.  I smiled.  Meema may have found an extra year today, but I'm the one with the treasure.

80 thoughts on “Meema

  1. Tina says:

    Shannon, my grandma just passed away on Friday at the age of 89 and I will miss moments with her for the rest of my life!
    It was good to read about another person who treasures her grandmother!

  2. Sylvia says:

    I am lucky to share a birthday with your Meema. I pray I will touch those close to me as she has touched you…what a blessing.

  3. Christy says:

    Your post made me cry. My Memaw has dementia so moments like this are few and far between but oh the beauty of this moment with your Meema…it does my heart so good πŸ™‚
    And an extra year…always good!

  4. Nancy says:

    Oh I love that story, thanks for sharing. Grandma’s are such special people. I lost both of mine years ago but have so many vivid memories of them.

  5. Linda Sue says:

    Praying for someone is the greatest gift – your grandmother is one of the real saints. How cool to gain a year – I am pretty certain I’m about to hit 61 – birth certificate right here in the file drawer – yep. You are blessed and a blessing – thanks Shannon

  6. Candy says:

    What a special day. Neither you or Meema will ever forget it. And the gum thing really got to me. My mom (who is now 83) used to put a stick of gum in every letter she sent me in college and afterwards. About 15 years ago, I decided to carry on the tradition, and every time I mail anything to G-ma” or my kids, I include a stick of gum, and they all know it says “I love you.”
    Meema’s prayers have sustained not only her, but many others. God bless your beautiful family.

  7. Colleen says:

    You’re post made me cry tears of joy and tears of saddness I lost my Grandmother a year ago this past december, and your story reminded me of her. Thanks for sharing!

  8. judy says:

    Shannon, This was a wonderful post about your Meema and how those who love us and pray for us shape us into the people we are today. My own mother was like that and now that I just became a grandma for the first time, I just pray someday little Harper will know I have prayed for her all her life!
    Thanks for sharing that sweet story!

  9. Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam says:

    Oh, the legacy you have shared here is just a glimpse of what it is in real life. What a treasure for your daughter to have all those generations.
    Just read your post that you linked to on Twitter. Yep, right there with you….so much work, but it will be so worth it this weekend. Looking forward to spending so much time with such wonderful ladies. πŸ™‚

  10. Bev says:

    Precious. You are so blessed to have this woman in your life and you obviously know it. Goodness wouldnt the world be a better place if we all had a dear grandmother like her.

  11. Sue D says:

    This beautiful post made me cry. I hope you have many more years with your Meema. She sounds like a treasure. What a blessing that your kids can know her, too.

  12. Holli T. says:

    Your Meema is a treasure. My Mom, who is 77 and lives with us, is like that. She has always been a prayer warrior. To have that gift and to combine it with the ability to encourage people is wonderful. Aren’t we blessed?

  13. Margie says:

    Yes, you do have the “treasure”. It was my grandmother who taught me the Lord’s Prayer. My little two year old granddaughter says, “I woan go to chuch”. Then I’ll ask her, “What will you do in church” to which she’ll reply “Sing songs and pway”.

  14. Sarah (GenMom) says:

    What a precious memory. Isn’t blogging great for capturing those moments forever? And better yet, I so appreciate your incredible ability to retell them in a way that makes me feel like I am walking right there with you and your Meema.

  15. Tina says:

    Hello, I’m not sure I’ve commented here before or not, but I stumbled upon your blog about a year ago & have been a reader ever since! Thank you for letting us into your world…you are inspiring!
    I too, have a precious Memaw…turning 80 this year. What’s funny is that about 15 years ago, she realized that we were celebrating her birthday on the wrong day! LOL
    There is nothing like the prayers of a Memaw! She raised me on them and have faith that they are protecting me at this very moment!
    Congrats on being able to help her celebrate this new year…she sounds delightful!

  16. Carrie says:

    I am a new reader, perusing through from Girlymama’s place. Let me just say your post was exactly what I needed to read today! The part about someone breathing your name in prayer just gave me perspective and quieted my mind today. Thank you for taking time to ponder what most people would try to breeze through as quickly as possible to move on to the next task.

  17. Linda says:

    Happy Birthday to your dear Meema. She sounds so very much like my sweet 85 year old mother. Everyone I know wants to adopt her as their own mother.

  18. Sarah the secret blower says:

    hey gal, you made me tear wonderful, what a beautiful grandmother you have…
    we are looking for a place to rent in Orange Beach, Al…I am whisking my two daughters away…any suggestions?
    my 2nd oldest will have had her 2nd lupron shot for endo this week and then we are planning on heading out…to catch…a breath….

  19. Pam says:

    I loved this story, not only because the sweetness of your grandmother reminds me of mine. I own a small baking business I run from my home, and I dream of opening a shop some day. To know that I had a precious saint praying for me would be more precious than gold.

  20. Heather says:

    You are so lucky- both my grandma’s are gone and there isn’t anything I would not give just to spend some time with them again- enjoy your time with her!

  21. Pam says:

    Lovely……Happy Birthday to Meema. I am a Nana too and it was a good reminder to model prayers and kindness to other infront of my grandchildren. Pam, South Bend

  22. Nancy says:

    My grandma was very sick in the last year of her life, and wanted nothing more than to go home to heaven. But every day, she told me she would wake up and say, “God must have me here for a reason.” And her reason was praying for every one of her 11 children, their spouses, her 40+ grandchildren, and her handful of great-grands. I hope I get to find out someday what her prayers accomplished, and how they saved me from disasters.
    — Nancy

  23. wendy says:

    OH, I loved that story. WHY – cause it reminded me of times with my grandmother who is now gone. It just stirred all those great memories, so thank you .
    And I will pray for Meema and many more birthdays.

  24. weeble says:

    I love this story. It reminds me of my mother-in-love. Her name was Grace. It fit her perfectly. She was always praying for someone (I could fill pages with stories about her & her prayers). If we had given birth to a daughter instead of three sons, we would have used Grace as a middle name. Grace went to be with the Lord two years ago. Since then,two young families have had daughters and named them Grace because they knew and loved her (so did everyone who met her). So her name is carried on in two other families as well as in our hearts.

  25. Angela says:

    What a beautiful post! It made me cry and count my blessing that my Grandma is still alive and that my two sons get the pleasure of spending time with her also!
    Thanks for sharing this special day with all of us!!

  26. Aimee says:

    My Pa-paw’s prayers were like that for my family. When we were dealing with the difficult pregancy and diagnosis for my baby, I kept thinking about how I wish he would’ve been around, just to talk to and pray with.
    I sure miss him. I’m glad people like your Meema are still around, teaching us and blessing us.
    Happy Birthday, Meema! πŸ™‚

  27. Mimi says:

    I love my grandma too, and I always feel protected because I know she prays for me daily…I really should be the one praying for her more. Thanks for sharing.

  28. auntie says:

    what a beautiful story! i know the prayers of my grandparents are what keep me afloat a lot of the time. you are very lucky to live so close to your Meema. i’m going to visit my grandparents at the end of the month…i’m so excited! it’s been way too long.

  29. Amanda Evans says:

    My husband and I own a small bookstore and several of our customers have told us the same thing: that they pray for us when they drive past or pray at home that our business does well. Let me tell you, it really does mean more than we can say, especially when we can see it working!

  30. Heather says:

    Wow how that makes me miss my grandma!
    I was pregnant with my daughter when she went home and my daughter has an “E” name to honor her.
    Although my daughter is only 2, she uses some of the same language Grandma did and in the same context and they cough the same ( wierd as that is!)
    I am so glad you were able to spend such a day and that Meema got another year!
    I am praying that she gets many more- Happy Birthday to her!

  31. Marie says:

    My husband had a similar experience to your grandmother’s–I accidentally convinced him he was a year older than he really was. It was quite the sight to watch him age backwards a full year in a matter of seconds when he realized we were wrong about his age!

  32. Gego says:

    Meema is so special! Please wish her many more birthdays from LRAR. She is so proud of her Grands and Greats and shows that pride with lots of love.
    I, too, love her bunches!!!!!

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