tent revivals, long-lost brothers, and remarks on democracy in the middle east …

December 27, 2007

Who would’ve thought a simple gesture (taxi-ing my “Nanie” from Des Moines to Wichita) would’ve turned out so wonderfully entertaining & educational. It’s amazing to me that an 83 year old woman — virtually alone, physically failing, and worlds away from culture’s cutting edge — can still be so enjoyable and relevant. (I pray I will be half the woman.)

What started out as my attempt to bless & care for my dear grandmother has, in a matter of two days, so flip-flopped … I’m now simply marveling at a debt I will never repay. (And frankly, a little concerned that the legacy being forged these days is pressing the bar a little higher than I’m comfortable with!)

She’s got it all: wit, humor, goodwill, a pure heart and a faith in Jesus that just might rival lard-perfume wasters.

Not to mention a host of surprises still waiting to be uncovered by snoopy grandchildren who ought to know better. (This week, I learned of Nanie’s conversion in a town revival-tent, her two “lost-brothers” [Vincent & Jo-Jo] she last saw on her 4th birthday [the same day she buried her mother] … AND why she’s not sure conventional democracy is an answer for the Middle East.)

And we thought Nanie was simply a sacrificial saint. Turns out, there’s a whole lot more to that picture than I had allowed. (Why do I always turn old people into stock characters? I think that’s mostly a statement about me.) Turns out, there’s also a lot more involved in the making of a saint.

(I guess we’ve had our hunches all along.) But it’s hard to get saints to talk about themselves. (Especially when there’s so much of me to talk about.)

Thankfully the momentum of age (both hers and mine) and hours in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do … brought us to a different and deeper exchange.

Here’s hoping I will make (more quickly) more room for these kinds of discoveries. May it be, dear Nanie. May it be.


5 Responses to “tent revivals, long-lost brothers, and remarks on democracy in the middle east …”

  1. jami Says:

    My first job was at a Daylight Donuts in Colorado Springs when I was in high school. The average age of the ‘regulars’ could not have been under 70. My 16 year old self grew to love listening to their stories and their yammering back and forth with each other over the events of the day, their grandchildren and whatever else caught their attention. I very quickly learned that experience is often the source of great wisdom. (And great stories…although I question the veracity of some…who knows what tall tales they were getting over on me!)

  2. jt Says:

    Thanks for sharing about your daily-dose at the donut shop!

    Somehow, I’ve got a feeling even some of the tallest tales from these (old) folks are full of truth! (Though uncovering valuable gems amidst one too many “extras” may, indeed, prove tricky!)

    But what’s that saying? “If it didn’t happen, it should have.”

    Maybe sometimes.

  3. jen Says:

    I love your Nanie. I always have. She is a treasure and a slice of Kathy while being her own person at the same time. So glad you had the time with her, the years she spent serving your Papa are also amazing.

  4. Aubin Says:

    I love her! She is so sweet…

  5. jt Says:

    If only Nanie could keep that silly dial-up connection working for her! She’d be flattered (and taken back) by such consensus.

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