Terese Luikens' Grandmother

Why Bother Remaining Steady?

My Grandma Weber led an orderly life. Without a doubt, she was not one to be easily distracted or one who went off course. And though the evening news may have described the world around her as going to hell in a hand basket, Grandma’s feathers never ruffled under duress. 

  Calm in the Storm

Grandma came to our rescue during a most turbulent time in my family’s life. Dad had admitted himself to a veteran’s hospital in Denver to be treated for his depression and as a result, our whole family was uprooted. Though two of my siblings were old enough to be independent, Mom could not financially raise her remaining five dependent children. As a result, she relied on others to “adopt” them into their family for what she hoped would be a short interim. While my other siblings stayed in Durango, Colorado with their “adopted” families, Mom, Mark and I returned to Nebraska and lived with Grandma.

In the midst of a raging emotional time for Mom, my brother and I, Grandma opened her door and welcomed us into her home where order and calmness reigned.  

Though I worried that our presence would upset the apple cart, Grandma showed no signs of being perturbed by our presence. 

Even when Mom tearfully talked with Dad on the phone, usually during dinner time, Grandma kept Mark and I at the table conversing about our day at school, and making  sure we cleaned up our plates. 

When Mom got a job at a bakery and left for work before we left for school, Grandma made sure we ate a good hot breakfast and packed our lunches. Returning home in the afternoons, Mom was usually still at work, but Grandma was there ready to serve us cookies and milk. 

After five months of being in the hospital, Dad ended his life. We moved out of Grandma’s house and into our own with Mom and all five siblings united under one roof.

But when Dad ended his life, my family’s stormy life only increased in its velocity and Grandma became my steady confidant. 

I’d ride my bike over to her house, and we’d sip ice tea on her front porch swing. She listened while I tried to sort out what made no sense and though she never could answer my question of “why” knowing that her feathers would never ruffle under duress was enough for me. 

Why bother remaining steady? When our world is going to hell in a hand basket and if our feathers don’t ruffle under duress, we just might be the one who gives hope to someone who needs it.

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