"Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within the reach of every hand."
Everything my grandma touched was graced with a loving hand. It was evident when she puttered in her garden, created in her kitchen, and chatted over coffee. Hers wasn't a sappy, overly demonstrative kind of love. It just wove itself into everything she did.
A feral cat my grandma called BBC (Big Black Cat) saw this special quality in her too. The largest cat I have ever known, he wore his name well. An occasional visit on her patio evolved into a permanent residence for BBC. But it took time, and a whole lot of love. Grandma opened her door and her heart to this tempermental character. No one could approach BBC but her. He'd hiss and make a fuss at everyone else. But where Grandma was concerned, he was smitten.
Though it's been years, I remember the way he would stroll into the house with the regal manner that became BBC's trademark. He'd reach his front paws up onto the kitchen counter, his hind legs still anchored on the floor. His masculine meow was his way of saying, "I'm hungry." Thursdays he was all the more eager to get inside and head for the kitchen. Grandma always cooked him his favorite meal, liver. Perhaps it was the scent wafting from her kitchen. But he always knew when it was Thursday.
Over time, BBC became an affectionate cat, but only with Grandma. During her afternoon rest time, he'd climb up onto her chair and plop his large, heavy body onto her soft and welcoming lap. Siesta hour was often spent together.
BBC saw the love, the patience, the kindess, and the gentleness that was my grandma. And he drank deeply of her good fruits. If a feral cat can grasp the treasure of who my grandma was, I know I can too. As I tap into our family's memory banks, I know I will stumble on many examples of how she lived her life so authentically, beautifully, and lovingly. Even though she is gone, I believe the world still needs my grandma. It's an honor to share her with you.
"I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when I die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, 'How many good things have you done in your life?' rather he will ask, 'How much love did you put into what you did?'"
"Spread the love of God through your life but only use words when necessary."
"The deeper we put down our roots and become established in His love, the stronger our branches become to bear His fruit."