I was feeling all church glowy and spirit open, when I ran into my Aunt Jean and Cousin Cecilia after church.
My Aunt was on her way to see Grandma Frazier, our 93-year-old matriarch of the family before enjoying Sunday dinner at Cecilia’s. My eyes filled with tears and conviction and I heard gently…
It’s time, go visit.
What the Spirit failed to remember was that I had our annual cookie baking at one of my Sistah-Girlfriends house that I still needed to shop for that had been on the calendar for months. I also needed to stop by my Uncle Phillip’s Christmas Gumbo Open House-“Grandma’s” was not on my “Family Christmas Countdown”-OUCH!!
And she should have been.
In the middle of my Holy Spirit spanking, I reminded the Lord that I was still mad at Grandma because of how she had hurt me in the past and that I wasn’t sure if I was ready yet to let it go and how it would be stupid to use Christmas as a “token” for all the missed visits I had promised.
It’s the perfect “token”.
Truth is I didn’t deserve Jesus to come by my broken, dirtied-up, sin stained heart-but He did. Didn’t deserve all the visits of love, joy, peace and comfort he keeps delivering at my door step.
And as I’m trying to review and recall the pain and anger I’ve held on to for so long-love swells up instead and memories of Christmas past with Grandmother in her yellow kitchen come in it’s place.
And I am that little girl in her black velvet-red ribbon- laced dress with sweated out press and curl from the nerves of reciting my Christmas speech-now excited because we are headed to Grandmother’s house.
Because the form and fashion of Christmas plays and productions are behind and all I can think about is Grandmother’s 7 layered applesauce and coconut cakes. And how all my cousins, aunts, extended family and complete strangers will all be there expanding the four walls of her home larger than they were constructed.
I will eat turkey, dressing, macaroni and cheese, greens, sweet yams and my own Mother’s prized homemade yeast rolls. And after we feast my cousins and I will share and compare our prized Christmas toys. I remember the one Christmas when we all got Holly Hobby ovens and we brought our brown-skinned Baby Alives and we pretended to be Mommy’s.
And now here in this memory of my Grandmother’s house, the laughter will be so loud that you will have to yell at the person in front of you to keep your conversations going. And how the “less saved” family members my slip and cuss and the “more saved” will share tidbits of sermons and gossip about who finally got saved just in time for Christmas.
Grandma keeps bragging to her Nursery Home attendants that I am her Grandbaby and so is the one seated by my side.
Grandma remembers that I never gave her my new number when it changed.
Grandma wonders out loud why it has taken me so long to visit her, that she is surprised by my visit.
Grandma hugs and kisses me still.
Grandma and I and my Aunt and my daughter keep laughing because we are happy, the family although a fraction is together for this moment. We are still Frazier’s and our voices and loudness and joy keeps spilling out into the halls.
Grandma has missed me and I have missed her.
I tell my daughter on our ride back into our Christmas plans, never to wait as long as Mommy did to forgive and that Christmas is the perfect pass to make wrong things right-that this is the real meaning of Christmas-the gift of getting what you don’t deserve or didn’t earn.
And I’m so grateful that God didn’t keep a grudge against me-and I am thankful for baby Jesus’ coming- to make me right and to finally get it right with my Grandmother.