Today’s Jot: Robust
My grandmother was a robust woman, and I always wanted to be like her. It seemed there was nothing she couldn’t do. She was born to a family that was hard and tough. As an only child, her life was made more difficult, as she struggled to be everything, her parents needed.
Not only did she live her life, meeting the needs of her husband and children, during the great depression -she expected this same strength and determination from her children.
My papa, although a robust man, in size and strength, was kind and gentle. I don’t believe he ever raised his voice. He would entertain his children with the kind of “wow’s” you’d see in a circus. My dad told me how his father would pick up a bucket of nails with only his teeth. For my dad to be impressed, it was a big bucket -and heavy.
Grandma taught me that a woman could do anything -but she should always be the strength behind her man. It wasn’t that she considered herself inferior -quite the contrary. Many believed she was considerably smarter than Papa, and she was had the command and authority in the household. So, what she offered my Papa was her unending love. The more she loved him, and allowed him to pull strength from her -the greater the man he would be.
In her last years, I asked her if she missed him. Papa died in the early years of his 60’s. Grandma lived to be 90ish. She told me that her longing for him was so great, “I’d rather have lost a child.”
This was a tough woman, who worked the fields, made her children’s clothes with a needle and thread, worked her garden, and canned their food. Dinner was always made from scratch, and she went to church every Sunday -the robustness of this woman came not from her body -but from her heart.
This, I think…is the kind of wife I’ve always tried to be.