I was a June baby, born in Atlanta. For the first six months of my life we lived next door to my mother's parents. A narrow driveway ran between our two houses. In the stifling heat of the summer, with my bedroom window open, my grandmother heard all my infant cries. Whenever she would hear me, she would call out across the drive to my mother to check on me. As a mom myself I can only imagine how annoying this must have been for my first-time mother. But grandmothers and granddaughters are different. Suffice it to say I adored my grandmother!
Blinded by glaucoma at the age of fifty, my grandmother never laid eyes on me but she is someone who I truly believe saw the real me. This is in part because we spent so much time together on her front porch swing. On this swing we would play hide-and-go-seek. I would pretend to be hiding under the flower pot and she would guess all the places I could be and then find me there. We would take long train trips to California. She let me be the conductor. We would sail across the ocean to England on a big ship and I would watch for whales. All of this, of course, in our imaginations. But in my mind's eye I could see us in all these places, together.
Today my grandmother's swing is on the front porch of my parents' home. I swing on it every time I'm back in Atlanta. To know that one day it will be mine delights me. A devout Christian woman who loved Jesus, her church and her family, my grandmother taught me to look beyond challenges and obstacles. With creativity and imagination she taught me to find adventure. She taught me how to walk, not by sight, but by faith. She taught me from the time I was a baby to look for grace in all things.