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Thursday, April 28, 2016

MY TOUGH GRANDMA

Gloria Phifer

I have been thinking about my grandmother tonight.

wondering how she survived the life she lived. What made her so brave? And yet, tough  with so much hardness.

She was only 4 ft 11 inches tall. She had long, chestnut hair that she braided and circled upon her head. She always wore glasses...and usually had a cigarette in her hand.

She was originally from Ohio. She married a Kentuckian and they moved west. They had 8 children. During the depression, my grandfather painted  billboard signs for a living. They were always on the move. My mother told me of grandma making pancakes over a campfire. 

My grandfather was an alcoholic and a womanizer. 
He left grandma for another woman, but grandma would never give him a divorce because she didn't believe in it.

During the 2nd World War my grandmother, and the children who were still with her, lived on a ranch in Magdalena New Mexico, with her oldest daughter and her husband.

My mother married to get away from home when she was 16. my biological father was in the army air force, so she returned to the ranch.

my mother discovered (at 17), that she was expecting a child. My grandmother and oldest aunt wanted her to abort the baby.( my mothers sister, who was 16 months older then my mother, had gone through this procedure and then went into a deep depression. my mother had witnessed the whole thing.) Perhaps this is what saved my life...I only know that God had a plan for my life. I was born to a 18 year old girl and brought to the ranch. Another aunt told me that she didn't think I would have made it if it had not been for her and my grandmother, who took over taking care of me.

After her children left Grandma opened her own business in Albuquerque. "Ruby's Novelties." The first business was across from the New Mexico State Fairgrounds on Central Ave. She lived alone and always had her gun.

Her store was in the front of the building and her living quarters were in the back. Later on she moved her store into the Sandia Mountains. 

Grandma was small, but she was intimidating. If you displeased her, she would tell you to leave and never come back. This happened to me twice. I stayed calm and didn't answer back...and then it was over with..and we went on as if nothing had happened.

My mother inherited the hardness from her mother. the only person I saw, that ever made my mother cry, was her mother. Even when my mom cried...grandma was dried eyed and I never heard her apologize.

When I was a senior in High School, my mothers brother, grandma's son, committed suicide. He was an alcoholic.He  was the youngest brother. This family was always in chaos. alcohol, divorce, fights.

In this family of origin there was no peace...only hardness...trying to survive. 

I married and moved to Iowa. When I was 22 years old I became a born again Christian...filled with The Holy Spirit.

I was so excited to share my new faith with my family. We visited New Mexico. When I tried to show my mother something in the Bible she said, "Get away from me with that."  Grandma said, "What have you gotten your self into."

Yes, I had broken the mold. I stepped out of their comfort zone. I was a different person...it was like I was a foreigner to them.

After I returned to Iowa, my grandmother sent me a book against what I had experienced. (In fact, the trip to New Mexico was the last time I saw my grandmother.) I never responded to the book, because I knew what I had received from The Lord was real...it had changed my life.

About 4 years later my mother, brother and step dad moved to Iowa. It was spiritual battle time. I won't go into all the details, but eventually, my mother, brother and step dad did accept Christ. (Even though later, (another story,) they went back to their old life style in New Mexico.But, praise The Lord He delivered them again. Truly a miracle.)

My mother told me that, before my grandmother died,  she began reading her Bible and really changed. I truly believe that I will see her in Heaven. The hardness and survival skills will be gone and I will know her as she truly is.

My mother and step dad are in Heaven now.

I use to ask the Lord why he let me be born into such chaos and upheaval...but I know He had a purpose. I have seen Him save, deliver and free the captives. Those who lived in darkness The Light came and brought salvation and new lives. I am so thankful to know Jesus Christ.

If you are praying for your family..continue...God is at work.He loves them even more then you do. Know that He can reach the hardest hearts and reveal Himself as The Only Savior of mankind.
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