Blessed Assurance

There are times when I close my eyes and I find myself perched atop my great-grandmother’s lap, my tiny hands in hers, clapping along with the congregation as the choir sings “Blessed Assurance”. I’m happy and she’s filled with joy, both of us waiting for the chorus…

This is my story, this is my song…

Other times when I close them, I’m crouched outside of her bedroom, ear pressed to the door, for what seems like hours. I hear her talking. I hear laughing. I hear her crying. I find out when I get older that I was hearing her praying.

Praising my savior, all the day long…

My grandmother was born to a teenager and had given birth to two daughters by the time she was 17. She lost her mother before her 16th birthday and a daughter after she turned 70. I lost her before I turned 30. She birthed a family, nurtured us with faith, love and laughter. She gave the world 81 years, I’m scuffling towards my 40th. She was a grandmother to seven at my age. I’m still getting to know myself.

Heir of salvation, purchase of God...

It was Thanksgiving, she wanted to talk to her family. She called everyone who’s feet didn’t land beneath her table. I finally answered around 6, I was tired. She was tired. She went to sleep.

Perfect submission, all is at rest...

She lives in the stories I write; her wisdom sits between the paragraphs, her memory punctuates my sentences. I close my eyes and I see her. I hear her. I’m here because of the prayers I didn’t hear.

Blessed assurance.

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