Mabel was my Grandma. I truly think she was really an Angel though. She was almost non-human in the ways she dealt with people. Here are some of the extraordinary examples from her life that have had a profound effect on mine:
1. When my father was a child, some gas splashed on his legs at the gas station and right then a man threw a cigarette butt. My dad, who was 8 yrs old, caught fire on his legs. My grandmother grabbed him and put out the fire with her bare hands - she just used her hands and placed them over his legs which did put out the fire but left her hands severely burned.
2. One day we went to the library. Grandma slipped on the cement steps outside and fell. She was about 83 at the time. I could tell she was in a great deal of pain but she just laid there quietly trembling and said "Don't worry about me, I'm just fine, I'm going to lay here for a minute and then I'm going to get up so we can go on with our day. Your coloring book is over there in my purse if you want to color for a minute while I get my breath back." She wasn't even crying. I called 911 and eventually at the hospital they told us she had fractured her hip - that it had shattered like chalk.
3. Little things: Both of Grandma's ankles were severely swollen and black - she had some kind of very painful disorder that made them that way. Dad always told me before we'd go to her house "Now don't make Grandma get up and walk - you know that every step she takes hurts her." Despite my refusing any goodies or any of the several offers of hospitality she would make when we were there, she always popped right out of that seat to greet us and then would walk constantly getting us this and that. She never, ever complained. Dad said it made her feel good to take care of others.
4. No matter who she dealt with, Grandma always had her very subtle, thoughtful ways to make that person feel like royalty. Whether it was remembering the mailman's birthday or complimenting the store clerk on a new hairdo, Grandma always went out of her way to genuinely make people feel special and cared about.
5. Although some people did her wrong - she NEVER spoke poorly of a person. She never ever said a negative thing about another person. Even when she had every reason to.
6. Grandma had money - apparently lots (before our family lost it later). I never knew this. From the way Grandma lived,I always thought she was poor. I was astonished years later to find that she was actually a millionaire at one point. Even though Grandpa bought her jewelry and a fur coat she never wore any of it because all her friends were either middle class or poor and she didn't want to make them feel bad because they didn't have such nice things. She never did wear that coat.
7. I can't remember Grandma ever doing one thing for herself - she literally lived to serve others. Everything she did was for someone else and it made her happy. She was eternally kind and gracious - the kind of thing you never see anymore. She was such an amazingly selfless person that I could never hope to be half the person she was but I am always trying. I always think that if more people were blessed to have such a positive role model in their lives perhaps they'd strive to be better people too. She was not a celebrity or any wealthy socialite. She was just a farmer/builder's wife in a very small town in rural Nebraska.
Submitted by Anonymous
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