Granny Ruth

I don’t know when Granny Ruth died. My great grandmother. Yes, a blood relative that I met and talked with and slept in her house and remember. Her. I don’t know when she died.

She was stolen away—sometime after my mom’s mother died the day Clinton was elected. So it was after I was nine. I should remember. I should have gotten the chance to see her as a teenager. But instead, sometime after my grandmother died, some other relatives that we didn’t talk to very much stole her away. Mom knew her grandmother had Alzheimer’s—she would say, “Laine never visits me,” and mom would be sitting right there. And so when they heard this, they believed her. And they didn’t believe that Granny Ruth was not in full command of her mental faculties, and so they stole her away.

We just don’t know why. Even why they didn’t talk to us and ask us. It’s like they didn’t want to share. Didn’t want to share an entire woman, with memories and feelings and cares and loves.

At the VA, for my program we had to write a “Loss Line” and this is one of mine. Some people didn’t have any they could think of, mine is full of deaths and times when my whole world shifted—scattered and tilted completely off axis. What was a well balanced world—evenly spinning, tilted perfectly with magnificent seasons—was shot catywhompus off it’s stand like a marble that got lost down a ravine.

Can you miss something you don’t remember very well? Can you grieve a death you never learned about?

It becomes so difficult. And we spend time just lost. After I’ve lost my home and my family, what is next? My health? O God, don’t’ make me like Job.

I’ve not actually had a loss like that. Praise God I’ve not needed my faith tested like that. But it has been tested. It just hasn’t been as strong.

I believe faith can be tested at all times—even, possibly especially those times when we think we haven’t been tested. Too many times I have read that faith deepens in the time of despair and trial. And so for those who have felt that they have not been challenged—their faith has to be more careful—that they have to believe in spite of not being tested on an open way. But instead tested in their way of life—as they live—day in and day out in each ho-hum still-getting-through-it it-doesn’t-seem-hard-enough day.

What a blessing. What a challenge. What a call.

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