My dad and his mom were very close. His father left when he was an infant, never to be heard from again. For years they only had each other and even though grandma remarried when dad was still a young child, the years by themselves forged a strong and unique bond.
Grandma Hobbs had a great sense of humor. She was the type of lady who you had to always be on your toes around. I think our whole family inherited the spiritual gift of sarcasm down from my grandma. Maybe one day one of us will hone the craft fine enough to follow in her footsteps.
She died a few years ago suddenly from cancer and as much of a gift as it was for her to be sick for literally one weekend, none of us were really ready for her to go home. Grandpa took it hard but I think dad may have had the hardest time adjusting to life without his mom.
Just the other day I was thinking about her, praying for grandpa and my dad and I realized how much I really missed her too. She was one of the first to encourage me to pursue ministry. And even though I always knew she was proud of me I knew I was not her favorite. She had nine grandchildren and it is pretty safe to say that each of us were her favorite in a way. She was the type of person who really wanted to know you. And she was the type of person who would make you laugh constantly.
April first may well have been her favorite day out of the year. I have no idea how long it took her to hatch these schemes but she would invariably call my dad and weave a tapestry of ridiculous tales and convince him of everything from an arrest warrant being sworn out for her to the moon being made of green cheese. There seemed to be no story that she could not convince him of, at least one a year.
I remember dad coming home shaking his head in defeat every year, having been bested once again by his aging mother and her endless litany of fables.
Over the past few years my brothers, my mom and I have done our best to keep the tradition alive. One year I dropped out of seminary to smoke weed to wander the earth. Another year my brother, engaged at the time, had knocked up his finance. Every April first we remember grandma through our ridiculous antics, testing out dad’s resistance.
There may be a moral in that story but for now I’ve got to get to work. These stories won’t make themselves.