Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My Grammy

Tonight is our church's choir practice. We're working on some great Easter music. At the end of last's week practice, I thought of a story that my Dad's late mother--Grammy--once told me.

Having divorced Grandpa when my Dad was just a kid, Grammy never remarried and enjoyed her independence. Her professional life as an executive secretary at Proctor & Gamble later became a well-respected 4th grade teaching career at Wilson Elementary in Cincinnati, Ohio.

When I was 11-years-old, Grammy took me to Europe for a month (lots of stories there!). She lived just five minutes from our house and my family was always visiting. Some of the most memorable moments were sitting in the living room hearing her play and sing at the baby grand piano.

Even though my parents took us kids to church every Sunday, Grammy herself never went--not even at Christmas or Easter. But growing up, those holidays were never complete without a trip to Grammy's house. Waiting for us after church was a spectacular breakfast-lunch buffet and lots of presents for me and my sisters.

After my faith in the Lord blossomed in college, I started wondering about Grammy's relationship to Christ. She was getting up in years and I didn't want to see her spend eternity apart from the Lord. So I opened up a conversation with her via the mail.

My concern for her spiritual life surprised her. She assuredly declared, "I don't need anyone preaching to me" because she already heard it all. Having never known Grammy to be a church goer, that remark surprised me. But in subsequent conversations, she told me that long before my parents married, she attended church every week.

Grammy was there every week because she was once a church organist and choir director. And so, here's her quote that I vividly remember:

"Our church had a full house every week and that damn minister thought everyone came to hear him. But the truth was--everyone came to hear the music!"

Now that I'm one of those you-know-whats, whenever my choir director asks how much music I want for the worship service, you can probably guess my answer.