Saturday, August 2, 2008

Our Honorary Granddaughter, Jennifer

My husband and I have an honorary granddaughter, Jennifer, from whom we heard today and she tells us she will be returning from Taiwan, where she lives, to go to school again at Carson-Newman College.

We first met Jennifer about twelve years ago, when she was about twelve or thirteen. My mind is a little fuzzy when it comes to remembering exact dates and ages. She was an eighth grader and her younger brother, Nelson, was a fifth grader and their father, Daniel, was a student taking courses in English at C-N so that he could get a degree in English and teach it in Taiwan and win students to Christ. His family: Jean, his wife, his children, Jennifer and Nelson, are all Christians.

He had brought them with him so that they could have the advantage of some schooling in the United States and they lived with him in one of the apartments on campus. I had become acqainted with Daniel at my church when he came to worship and he asked if I would tutor his children in English, and since I was retired from teaching in the public school, I took on the task, and loved it. I grew to love Jennifer and Nelson and Daniel. I tutored them all of that school year and then they went back to Taiwan at the end of the school year.

In the year 2000, in February, I went to visit her and her family in Taiwan, and it was a wonderful two weeks where I was steeped in the culture of that country. I was priviledged to meet her family members while I was there, and got to meet her real grandparents and her aunts, uncles, cousins.

In the autumn of 2000, Jennifer came back and was an exchange student and lived with Mark and Allie during her Junior year in our local High School.

She chose then to live with Dub and me during her Senior year. We had so much fun together that year. I made breakfast for her each morning, took her and picked up Mark and Allie's girls most mornings and picked them up after school. We baked pies together, cooked meals together, got up in the middle of the night to watch the asteroid showers in the sky, worked on her homework together and so many things. I was her "Grandma Ruby", Dub was her "Grandpa Dub" and she was a granddaughter to us. (and still is) Jennifer was very concerned with passing the test of speaking English and being able to go on to college, so I taped many hours of words and their meanings so that she could study them. Of course, it was a labor of love for me.

She went to church with us, I presented her "promise ring" in a church ceremony with other young people, and along with them, she promised to remain pure until marriage. She lived here in the states and her family was far away in Taiwan. I know what a sacrifice it was to all of them.

While she was here we took her up into Kentucky and Ohio to look at Universities during the spring break. It was a wonderful trip. We stopped in Berea, Ky. and looked at crafts and met interesting people.

There is so much I could tell you about but space prevents it. Jennifer is an artist and very talented. She started her undergraduate work at the University of South Dakota, where her brother, Nelson, is still a student, She finished her work at University of Tennessee in May, and is now going to be doing graduate work at Carson Newman beginning in August. We look forward to seeing her a lot more over the next months. Her father and mother are both teachers in Taiwan, where she and her brother, Nelson, have been this summer, seeing their parents.

I think it must be very difficult to be away from parents and parents away from children for such long periods of time, don't you? Anyway, this is just a little bit about a lovely young lady who has come to mean so much to Dub and me and about the profound impact she and her family have had on our lives and the lives of others.

Well, this is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for the evening. God's blessings are on each of us, you know, each day. May you feel His love and care for you. See you tomorrow.


Judy said...

Grammy, what a wonderful experience and what a beautiful young girl. I know you are very proud of her and the accomplishments she has made. I know you are a great teacher and grandmother to this young lady. That was a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. TN said...

Grammy, what a wonderful labor of love you have done for this beautiful girl. I'm sure you will forever be in touch with her throughoput her life. I admire you and your husband for being such a great influence in her life! WOW!