My Grandma’s Legacy
Grandma grew up in the mountains of Virginia during the Great Depression, her father died when she was only 8 years old and her family moved week by week because they could not afford housing and shared living space with her uncles.
They were a non Christian family and her dad died saying, "I've lived for the devil all my life, why would I change that now?". Grandma began attending church as a preteen and made the decision to accept Christ when she was 13. She then introduced both her younger brother and their mom to the Lord.
Grandma and her brother Harvey worked hard to help their mother save money and before Grandma graduated high school my Granny was able to purchase her own home! Grandma went on to put herself through college. Tragedy hit again when her brother was killed during the second World War.
Grandma and Grandpa married and began a life in pastoral service. Grandpa never pastored financially thriving churches and had to seek side employment throughout my Dad's childhood. Being products of the depression era it is no surprise that they were both frugal. Grandpa and Grandma bought the only home they ever owned the week that I was born, as he had transitioned to full time chaplaincy. At some point they began to make modest investments into their retirement, paid off the house with the inheritance from Grandpa's mother.
Grandma, while being frugal, had a great love for nice things and they were both by generous. And as they paid off bills and debt she enjoyed luxuries that Grandpa rolled his eyes at.
As Grandpa's health declined their house was sold and he moved into a care facility and Grandma moved to the independent living apartment at the same complex. These decisions were made with great involvement of their financial advisor which involved projected life expectancy. Both Grandpa and Grandma exceeded their life expectancy (what a blessing!).
As she aged Grandma's mind wasn't as clear and though she had worked for years as a bookkeeper she was spending far more money than she should be. At one point that didn't seem to be a problem because there was plenty of "play money".
Grandpa died at 91 and Grandma turned 96 this past winter. Dad, who's been managing their money for a long time, told me on Father's Day of this year that as of September Grandma would be completely out of money and would need to be placed on charity in the facility she lived. This made me sad thinking back to the humble beginnings she had come from and risen out of. In some ways it was less of a hurdle because her memory was poor and she didn't have the ability to dwell on things.
Grandma died on July 1st quite unexpectedly. As God would have it, just the day before, my parents were there to see her for the first unrestricted visit since Covid began.
While we certainly mourned her death we could not help but see the amazing blessings of Grandma's life: 83 years of loving and serving Jesus, 77 living descendants many of who are in full-time ministry or other Christian service as well as business owners and or otherwise highly successful children and grandchildren. She did not suffer and went to be with the Lord who she loved so dearly only hours after suffering a ruptured aneurysm.
Dad told me just this last week that after settling all of her accounts she had $5000 left in any sort of asset and that would have been the threshold for the charity placement. God allowed her money to last just long enough.
But there's more!
Dad received a letter forwarded to him from a bank he wasn't familiar with. He did some research and learned that for some unknown reason Grandma had a CD that was in this institution that no one knew anything about! It had matured on the very day she died! There was exactly $40,000 that no one knew anything about!
God allowed Grandma's legacy of faithful living and service to last just as long as she needed it and then to pour out blessings after she was no longer with us.