I suppose since both of my grandmothers have passed, I can now safely confess my nicknames for both of them. As a kid, I thought of them as “Big Grandma” and “Little Grandma.” I only told Little Grandma about my secret nicknames, since I figured she’d be okay with it. But I never got around to telling Big Grandma.
My Grandma Wideman was Big Grandma. She was soft and fluffy. I remember getting rocked by her as a small child. Why this stands out to me, is because it wasn’t in a rocking chair. Big Grandma could rock with the best of them, no rocker required. Snuggling up against her was like being enveloped in love. She loved through her hands, whether it was a caress or a swat, you knew it was all love. She ministered to her kids and grandbabies whenever there was a fever or upset stomach; Big Grandma always knew what to do.
Then came the time when Big Grandma was the one that got ill. Parkinson’s ravished her body as she slowly deteriorated through the last decade of her life. Big Grandma became tiny grandma, frail and dependent on those whom she had served and loved. Big Grandma showed Big Love to everyone she knew, no matter their size or stature.
Little Grandma was a farmer’s wife. She gardened, took care of the chickens, fed table scraps to stray animals, and had breakfast, lunch and dinner on the table everyday right on schedule, unless Grandpa had a hankerin’ for a burger in town. She would cook up a spread fit for her king and then dine like a pauper to keep her beauty queen figure. She was stylish with matching purse and heels every Sunday at church where she took her place at the organ. She taught all her children and grandkids to love music and play the piano. She ministered to her kids and grandbabies by taking pictures and filming home movies.
Little Grandma lived a long, healthy life, I suppose from eating all that organic food she grew on the farm. But then at the age of 91, she was ready to join her husband and family who had gone before her. She was dressed in her finest, her hair beautifully coiffed and she was happy to go Home.