11. Growth

My grandmother, Maffa, was pretty cool. Standing about 4′ 11″, she drove a great big green Fleetwood Cadillac, and if you happened to get behind her in traffic, all you could see of her was the top of her head just barely above the driver’s seat.


She liked to stay up at night and watch the late show. She enjoyed hard candy, and she loved her little dog(s). I remember the mean chiwawa named “Little Bit,” then the toy poodle, “Gigi,” and finally the shi tzu, “Tina” (which was short for “Tina-Ling Wong.”)


After my grandfather died, Maffa lived in the big old house by herself. I asked her one time if she was ever scared being there by herself; she told me that every night she would ask the Lord to put angels around her bed to protect her while she slept. And I believe the Lord must have honored those prayers. I remember walking in the house several times and finding her on her knees with her Bible open, praying just before she retired for the night. She was very confident in her beliefs.


And she was certainly opinionated; she liked to keep up with the news and would often complain about things going on in the world that just weren’t “right.” She laughed and smiled and was always glad to see you. She wasn’t overbearing, she was a good conversationalist, and she was very proud of her son (my father). She thought that he “hung the moon” – that was one of her favorite sayings.


For two years after I graduated from college I lived in a little cottage in her backyard. When I ran out of clean clothes, I’d walk up to her house and use the washing machine; she was always glad to see me and always smiling. And even now, if I close my eyes, I can still see her smile and hear her laugh.


She spent the last three years of her life confined to a bed, managing somehow to hang on to a strong sense of life. And thankfully, before she died, she was able to know and love her great-grandchildren.


Yea, I’d say that Maffa was a pretty cool lady. And even though she didn’t like a lot of what she saw going on in the world, she never tried to hide from it. She was always listening, watching and arguing for what she thought was right.



Days 11-13 Guide


The world is changing, isn’t it? Even the language is changing. And by yesterday’s standards, some things today may even seem crude. Don’t run from it. Wrestle with it, bend an ear, and look for the beauty. Go and live.


Thousands of young people today want to know how to live. Many are under extreme pressure, feeling anxious and alone. Demonstrate how to live, how to grow, how to change and be a part of the world. Be a strong voice for the spirit, and speak often of Joyous Gard.  


© 2005, Levi Hill

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