St. Thomas Episcopal Church | Medina

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Thoughts and Happenings

Sharing Our Stories: Thursday Edition (7/20)

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Sharing Our Stories: Thursday Edition (7/20)

This was an email originally sent out to the parish on Thursday, July 20, 2021.

Hi friends:

Here are the latest group of stories we have collected. This is a wonderful way for us to stay connected with one another and to accompany one another on this journey. We would love to have YOUR story. Check out the broad guidelines HERE.  And if you have already submitted a story, please let us have another one!

Reflection by DWIGHT RUSSELL

Recently Shirley and I were reminiscing about the influence and love of grandmothers in our lives. Sometimes it’s more than a short-term visit, as it was in my case. My parents divorced when I was four, my mother went to work, and the two of us moved back to my grandmother’s ranch (I never knew my grandfather as he died before I was born).

Hester, my grandmother, ran the household, and leased 400 acres to other ranchers. Born with only sixty percent of her eyesight, she had learned to “manage”, as she said, bearing six children along the way. In the kitchen of our home there was a small “two-lidded” wood-burning stove for warmth and boiling water. Each week I watched as she put the stove’s ashes in an old enamel pan and took them to the planting area where they became fertilizer for the artichoke plants and other vegetables.

Grandma had another quality which came in handy - she was seldom afraid, at least as far as I could see. It was the Depression of the Thirties and, like the homeless of current times, there were hobos. She fed most of them when they appeared and some were allowed to sleep in the horse barn. There was, however, one exception. One morning a “gentleman of the road” appeared at our rear screened door and said to my grandmother: “Madam, I want a good meal and I want it hot!” She told him to wait a minute, turned and went into the bedroom. I followed, staying close to her skirts and large apron. She opened the top drawer of the dresser and took out my grandfather’s Colt revolver. Returning to the screened door she raised it to the man’s chest and said: “Now you get along down the road or I’ll give you a hot meal!” He made a very fast exit.

So much for the adventures. My grandmother was unconditionally devoted to God. She was the chairperson of her church women’s group, and, though we lived far from the church she stayed in touch with the members by telephone and mail. As daily devotionals were important to grandma, she subscribed to a small pamphlet – The Pathfinder. I remember sitting on her lap on sunny mornings and watching her read it, holding it two inches from her eyes. Apparently she could decipher the writing well enough to connect to God’s word. It was one of the few written materials she read. Although she said little to me about her belief, her entire being had a strong and lasting effect on me – I think of her frequently. So, what’s the point of this essay? Very simply, the Holy Spirit was at work in my life in those years but I didn’t know it. Now I do, and, as I recently heard: “What is remembered lives.”

Vaya con Dios,
Dwight Russell

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