June 10, 2020

Today is June 10. For the past two days, I have been taking notes on this post. I do theses posts like I did my sermons for 50 years. I would take notes for several days before I would preach them.

You all have heard of older people say they were having a senior moment. I guess I had a senior two days. I kept thinking it was May 10. And I wanted to post about my Grandmother Mae Sinclair and her birthday. So since I had all these notes already prepared, I will still talk about Grandmother Mae anyway. Instead of appearing stupid, though, I am telling everyone I am celebrating Grandmother Mae’s birthday 11 months early. Is that Okay?

This is a personal story about my grandmother, but don’t turn me off as I am sure something I say will resonate with you and your grandmother, or some other relative. First, my grandmother would be 118 years old today if she were still alive. I’ll never forget her birth year, 1902, because when I was very young (maybe 5 or 6 years old) I was playing with a toy truck that on the license plate it had the number 1902. Grandmother told me that that number on my toy truck was the year she was born. Grandmother Mae lived just shy of 100 years. Her mother was anywhere from between 100 years old to maybe 104 years old when she died. There were no birth records of her birth year available. So her age was just an educated guess from her family members.

I could write a tome about Grandmother Mae. But I will share with you just few highlights of my memories of her.First is the memory of how Grandmother Mae loved her mother and was her caregiver many
years before she died. Grandma Clark had been blind ever since I could remember. During my years of knowing her, she was not only blind but had no teeth and no dentures. So, Grandmother Mae had to prepare her food and feed her one bite at a time. One of Grandma Clark’s favorite foods was apples. I can’t count how many times I watched Grandmother Mae scrape an apple little by little to make applesauce so she could feed it to her mother.

Another memory is that all the years Grandma Clark was alive she slept in the same bed as Grandmother Mae. That’s just another way Grandmother Mae showed her love for her mother, by protecting her from falling out of the bed.

I’ll never forget the time some of Grandmother Mae’s relatives came to visit Grandma Clark. They got Grandmother Mae off to the side where Grandma Clark could not hear and told Grandmother Mae they thought it was time for them to put Grandma Clark in a nursing home. I didn’t personally hear all that went on, but my mother was there and explained the whole story to me later. All I could remember was that I heard Grandmother Mae get very loud and upset. I was outside playing, but I could hear that. It was the first and only time I ever heard Grandmother Mae use a cuss word. When Grandmother Mar heard the word “nursing home” she said, “No, but hell no. I’ll never put my mother in a nursing home as long as God gives me the strength to take care of her.” So, Grandma Clark never went to a nursing home. She died peacefully at home. Grandmother Mae always gave more to others than she ever received. It’s part of who she was.

I’ll never forget how Grandmother Mae taught me how to tie my shoes when I was five years old. She loved her family dearly and would do anything possible to help them. Not long after Sandra and I got married, I went to visit Grandmother Mae and Granddaddy Jay. They were sitting out on their screened-in front porch. When I got inside, Granddaddy Jay said to me, it looks like that old car of yours is smoking more and more every time I see you. I said yes, it looks like it could blow up any minute. But I am saving up to buy a brand new pickup truck. I told him I should have enough money saved in about a month for the down payment. Then Grandmother Mae asked, how much of a down payment do you need? I said $500.00. That was a lot of money back then. Grandmother Mae then said it didn’t look to her like my car was going to last much longer. Then she looked at Granddaddy Jay and said, “Can we take Spencer to our banker and let him borrow how much more money he needs for the down payment?” Grandmother Mae always did the books and keeping up with their finances, but she always discussed things with Granddaddy Jay. Granddaddy Jay said, “Sure, when do you want to go, son?” We set aside the next day to go to their bank and they co-signed for me to borrow the money I needed. They would do such things for many of their grandchildren.

Grandmother Mae grew up in the heart of the Great Depression. That shaped the rest of her life. Many people thought she was stingy with her money. But that wasn’t exactly true. She was extremely frugal. She said nobody could ever tell when there may be another depression like
the one she lived through.

Grandmother Mae never spent much money on herself. She never bought new or stylish clothes, she never wore make-up and I don’t ever remember her going to a beauty shop. I mean this very lovingly, but Grandmother Mae looked the same way she did when she died as I remember her looking ever since I was a young boy.

And Grandmother was a hard-working woman as long as she had good health. She always helped Granddaddy Jay grow a garden. She would pick most of the produce and can what they could for the following year. Even after Granddaddy Jay died, she moved a little mobile home over behind my parent’s home and helped my daddy every year when he would grow a garden.

I said I could write a tome about her. But by these few memories, I shared with you about her, you can see how much she influenced my life as well as my other siblings and cousins.

I pray that you will take time to remember your precious loved ones who no longer walk on this earth, but leave their footprints all around you. One of God’s laws states to honor your father and your mother. That means grandparents too. You’ll never regret the things you do to honor
them when they are alive. And when they are gone, you’ll have no regrets.

God Bless You,
Spencer Plumley

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