One day a while back, Granny took a walk to the stores in Marble City to see what she owed. She sort of laughed and wrote isn't it shameful, I owe all three places. In another entry, she and JoJo have received their checks. She says there's not much left after they pay their bills, which she does faithfully as soon as the checks come. Then at the end of the entry, she notes that she paid her tithes.
Often, she's cleaning greens or snapping peas people bring her. Sometimes she snaps peas for a person in exchange for a mess of her own. She writes about what she's cooking (squash, beans, cornbread, cobbler) and who she had over to eat or what family she sent food for or which grandkid she sent fried chicken home with. In several entries, she's going to do laundry. Later, she does laundry by hand because there's not laundry in Marble City any more. They don't have a car, and sometimes they don't get to go to church services. Almost always, though, someone comes by takes them to church or asks them if they want to go to Wal-mart or to Ft. Smith or to campmeeting in wherever.
(Sister Vickie Kirk came by one evening after everyone had left for the campmeeting in Hobbs, NM, and asked Granny if she wanted to leave the next morning early. Granny thought she was going to have to stay home alone, since JoJo had gone with someone else and everyone else was supposedly gone. Granny packed a bag and was up before dawn the next day, ready to go. Who knows where she stayed--at the church or with some New Mexican Saints, I'm sure. She got a ride home with someone else, when the caravan started back to Marble City.)
Through it all, she's watching babies. I'm there almost every day and many nights. Chris is there some. Tammy still lives at home, I think, but she isn't there too much. She's with Jay a lot. Shannon and Bruce; Sherman, Mike, and Barney; mom and Mike Longshore; Pam and Wayne; or Terry, Bud, and Shelley Rae--or all of the above--spend the night regularly.
In the midst of everything, there is sickness. JoJo has spells, some "light" but most bad, near constantly during this time period. Granny cares for her. In this entry, she rubs her feet until she falls asleep.
Through all of it, she is thankful. It would be understandable, reasonable even, to despair or to feel like life shouldn't be the way it is for you. In this journal, Granny never complains. Occasionally she'll say her ankle is hurting or that she is a little tired. But she's never bitter for how hard things had to have been, especially for how terrible it must have been to see her daughter so sick so much.
I am sure faith has much to do with her steadfast...goodness, I guess, for lack of a better word. But this kind of humble, giving, grateful nature seems extremely rare no matter what crowd (religious or otherwise) you are in. I don't understand it, but I am in awe. Sometimes our memories do serve us well, it seems. For instance, my Granny, she was as good as they come.