Her Back Then

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The Minister’s Daughter

All I can think now is how she was then.

My grandmother in her late teens, it never occurred to me to wonder about her this way ’til I painted her against the  backdrop of her raising.

Her daddy was a minister.  She had to have been beautiful back then and on the cusp of change.  Standing on the firm foundation of her daddy’s reputation and the memorized words to scripture and lilting hymns, I’ve decided she must have turned heads.

I imagine to be in her presence would have been a pleasure.  A  petite young lady,  I believe she’d not be found sitting stiffly with hands folded securely in her lap.

She loved people, loved knowing them, knowing their stories and telling hers.  She was engaging.

I suppose there came a time she questioned the path of her life.

There must have been a time of determined rebellion.

She married my granddaddy, my son’s namesake.

She was young, one of four sisters, I recall.

He was a rascal, a carpenter by trade and a fishing man by choice, loved cold beer and cigars.  I never heard it told; but, I figure he must’ve swept her off her feet with his irresistible smile and lazy swagger.

I know she didn’t lose her faith, she just didn’t get it on Sunday mornings with her husband by her side.

But, she kept it.  She kept her faith, not one to let anything be taken.

I learned a whole lot from that one truth, just realizing it fully now.

Faith, sort of an enigma until you settle into its simple sufficiency.

She kept her faith. I got to see it. Hard marriage followed rebellious courtship, faith never left her.

I wish I’d heard the stories, wish I’d had a little talk with my grandma about her love for him. The giddy beginning of headstrong and hopeful decision.

Wish I could have seen the light of love in her eyes, a young woman abandoning all for abandonment in the moment.

And for loosening the reigns of control.

This painting is for my niece with the song she remembers as my grandma’s favorite. I recall someone sang it at her funeral.

It’s a beautiful hymn with lyrics praising the God who considered us worthy despite ourselves .  The acknowledgement of grace causing our souls to sing…

“then sings my soul”.

I’d love to know the song that caused her heart to flutter, though, caused her cheeks to flush when she went for what she wanted.

When she said “Yes” to my granddaddy and no to her father.

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