Never Promised a Rose Garden … by Lisa Thornton

A tribute to my sweet Grandmother who loved Johnny Mathis. A twin and one of eight children, she grew up in rural Maryland on a farm that still had an outhouse. Her mother died of tuberculosis when she was a teenager. She helped run the farm and raise her younger siblings.

After marriage and having four boys, including twins, her husband was diagnosed with throat cancer. She learned how to use a feeding tube (a second belly button they joked) to nourish his failing frail body.

To provide for their family she served on the line of a school cafeteria. Before daylight her middle son (my Dad) rode her there on the handle bars of his bicycle.

I can’t recall her ever raising her voice. Just the opposite, when I acted out, she got somber and quietly explained what I did to upset her and why it was wrong, in a voice I had to strain to hear. Though my dad tells a different story, one where Gram sent misbehaving boys out in the yard to pick out their hickory switch … Her honest simple ways made me a better person.

“I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden.” Bad things happen to good people. We can’t succumb to feelings of hopelessness even in our darkest hours.

Healing Hearts Retreat: Aug. 2-4

This retreat is designed to help bring about the healing for women who have suffered any type of sexual abuse. The Cedarbrake Retreat facilitators strive to provide a very safe, comfortable, loving and supportive environment so that par­ticipants are able to begin or to continue their healing process. The retreat begins on Friday evening and concludes Sunday at noon. The cost for the weekend retreat is $125 per person. A limited number of scholarships (discount price) are available. To register for this retreat please call (254) 780-2436 and ask for Beverly.

I’ll be there.

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