Last updated on October 1, 2017
My grandmother is an interesting character. She’s about 80 years old and, as Bryan likes to point out, is “sharp as a tack.” And she has the memory of an elephant, which is sort of funny since she collects elephant figurines, knick-knacks and the like. At most of my visits, she’ll sit in her comfy recliner telling random stories of days gone by. I keep telling her I’m going to come over with a tape recorder and just capture as much for posterity as possible.
Anyway, on one particular visit recently, she asked, with a bit of seriousness in her voice, “Stephanie, can I ask you something?” “Sure,” I answered, a little apprehensive I’ll admit. She started talking about when I was younger (pre-teen age, she said) and I would go to church with her every Sunday. Apparently, one Sunday I had confounded the Sunday school teacher with such an unexpected question that sent her running, immediately following service, to my grandmother, who was (and still is) an ordained minister, for assurance that she responded appropriately. The Sunday school teacher told my grandma that I stopped her as class was leaving to ask, privately, “What if you pray and ask God for something you really want and then He gives it to you and it turns out you don’t want it after all — what do you do?” The teacher told grandma that she hesitantly answered, “Well, Stephanie, I suppose you can pray and ask God to take it back and if He doesn’t then make the best of it.” Now, grandma assured the teacher that her response was probably the best to give to a young girl.
Here, 20+ years later, grandma concluded her story with, “So, Stephanie, what I’d like to know is — what were you trying to give back?” Now, I, unlike my grandma, do not have the memory of an elephant, so I haven’t a clue all these years later what I could have possibly been talking about. My mom, who’d been listing to grandma’s story, seemed satisfied that the question had no other purpose than the asking in itself. After all, she said, “You’ve been known to ask some pretty random questions like the time you asked ‘Mom, who’s Johnny Cash and why are toilets nailed to the ground?”
So, granted the question posed to the Sunday school teacher may have been more spiritual but the second seems to shed a little more light into the way my brain worked, for better or worse, as a child. I mean, the older I get, the more I like JC’s music and I sure wouldn’t say it belonged in the toilet!