It’s not often we get winter weather here in North Alabama, but when we do we make sure we do it completely. Last Monday the sleet started falling and we all spent the better part of the week playing the role of Donner Party reenactors. It gave me a lot of time to think and for one reason or another my mind drifted to my Granny Naron.
Granny Naron died a few years before I was born so for most of my life she was the woman standing by a school bus in a photo on Nana’s wall. All I ever knew of her when I was a kid was that she drove the school bus back and forth to school and ran the lunchroom in between. Her memory was like a ghost in that house, not really there but always having an influence.
I never thought much about it until I learned more about her. About her divorce when Nana was very young and her son dying tragically in a car accident. Learning about her raising those kids basically on her own brought home the significance of the work she did.
In a time when women depended on men to be the breadwinner, she had to do whatever she could to make ends meet. With no Mommy’s Day Out programs or church run daycares, she found a way to get her kids to and from school, keep an eye on them during the day, and get paid for doing it besides. She made sure to have her kids in church every Sunday and raise them in the Lord, despite the trials she faced that would have made it easy to question God.
It’s the sort of thing that makes me wish I could have met her; to have been able to hear her stories of the struggles she had and the love she found with Pappy Naron later in life.
What joy there is in knowing that there will come a day when I am able to sit with her and talk, thanks in large part to the choices she made and the legacy she left.