There are many things that I remember about her.
She loved green. All shades of it.
Elephants were her favorite animal, and her house had them everywhere. She found an elephant to fill every nook and cranny, and had elephants from all part of the world. If you were traveling somewhere and she knew it, she’d request an elephant.
She believed in education, and was a lifelong educator. From holding her own summer camp in the basement of her church, to forcing me to read every section of the newspaper to her aloud, to working with neighborhood kids years after formally retiring from her role at E.K. Powe Elementary School.
And while all of those are wonderful memories, what I remember most is that she used to wait up for me.
You see, when I was in graduate school, I worked at a hotel/conference center on campus, and I often worked 2nd shift after my classes. After getting off work at 11pm (or shortly thereafter), I would call her and we would talk about my classes, current events, the Lord, and whatever else came to mind.
She always waited up for me. Even as her health waned, she waited up for me. And in those last days, as her body wouldn’t allow her to wait up for me, she waited for me to call each day, always ending the conversation with the verse that we had been proclaiming since she had become sick: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
She’s been gone for 7 years now, and there are still times where I want to make that late night phone call. I want to tell her about my day, my students, my husband, my coursework, my life. I want to hear her voice and her encouragement. I want to hear her laugh. I want to remind me that “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”
There are so many things that I could selfishly wish for, but mostly, I just wish she was still waiting up for me. Oh how I’d love to make that phone call.
In Honor of my Grandmother, Mrs. Mildred Eleanor Roberts Davis