Life Lessons I Learned From my Grandma: A Love Story

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a very special relationship with my grandma.  She and I have had a close relationship all of my life.  We have spent a lot of time together laughing and talking about life.  My grandma turned 90 years old this week, and I believe that she has had an amazing life.  She has experienced many trials during her life, but she has faced them with a smile on her face, joy in her heart, and an unwavering faith in God.  I have learned so much from my grandma, and I believe you can too.  So, I have decided to commemorate her 90th birthday by sharing a few stories about my grandma’s life with you.  I hope these stories will show you how her faith has brought her through the difficult times that she has experienced.  I will be posting everyday this week and every post will be stories of how God has been with my grandma throughout her life.  I believe the stories will help you to see how God can work in all of our lives and how we can achieve peace through every experience we encounter with His help.  Having such a wonderful grandmother in my life has brought me immeasurable peace and PEACE MATTERS.  

Norman Cutsinger

My grandma, Ruth Cutsinger, is 90 years old, and she has been in love with the same man all of her life.  Some of you may be thinking that seems pretty normal, but the man she has been in love with all these years is not my grandpa.  Kind of changes things, doesn’t it?  Just sit back and listen to her story.  

When my grandma was very young, she met a boy at church.  His name was Norman Cutsinger.  She loved him very much, and he loved her too.  They really thought they would get married one day, but you see, Norman’s family didn’t think my grandma was good enough for him.  My grandma came from a very poor family and Norman’s family looked down on them.  It didn’t stop him from loving my grandma, but it made things very difficult.  Norman loved his grandma very much, and she advised him to stay away from my grandma, and then his mother died during childbirth when he was 18.  These events greatly affected Norman, and he decided to move to Colorado to live with his aunt.  Not only did he move to Colorado, he married someone else.  This devastated my grandma.  She could not understand what happened.  She thought that Norman loved her like she loved him.  She was unaware of the pressure that he was getting from his family, so she thought she was the problem.  She thought she was not good enough to love.  

After Norman got married and moved away, my grandma followed suit and married my grandpa.  My grandpa was a good man, but his relationship with my grandma was never very good.  I think in some ways, he could never be Norman, so they were doomed from the start.  They tried to make a life together and stuck it out through the good times and bad.  They had three children, the oldest a boy, Paul Jerry, died before he was two.  Then my aunt Pauletta was born and finally my mom, Darlene.  When my grandma was pregnant with my mom, Norman moved back.  You see, his marriage had not been good either, and after trying to make things work for several years, he is his wife divorced, and he moved back home.  My grandma saw him one day, but at that time she was still married to my grandpa, and she was getting ready to have another baby.  

Eleven years later, in 1960, my grandparents decided the best thing for them to do was end their 18-year marriage.  My grandma took my aunt and mom and moved into an apartment.  My grandma did not have any money, but there were people placed in her path to assist her.  Her mother kept telling my grandma that she needed to call Norman, but she was afraid and hesitated.  Her mother kept insisting and even said she would pay for the phone call.  So, one day, my grandma mustered all her courage and called Norman.  When he answered, she asked him if he remembered her.  He said yes, but he told her she was several years late.  My grandma immediately thought that she had made a mistake, and that she should not have called Norman; however, he told her that he was still single.  She told him they should get together sometime.  Norman said that maybe they should, but he was very non-committal.  

Several weeks went by and my grandma grew very impatient and was beginning to lose hope.  Then one day while she was cleaning the floors in the apartment and not looking her best, there was a knock on the door.  The date was April 1, 1961 and that knock would change all of our lives.  When she answered the door, there stood Norman.  Everything seemed to fit into place all at once.  He had come back into her life after all those years, and they still very much loved each other.  They picked up right where they had left off and were married on April 20, 1961.  

This drastically changed my grandma, aunt, and mom’s life.  They had a stable, loving home, they had plenty of money, and they had a man who loved them more than anything in the world.  The events of that day in April changed my life too.  Had Norman not come into my grandma’s life, my mom and dad would have never met, and I would have never been born.  I would have not known what it was like to have a grandpa, and what a grandpa he was.  No kid could have ever had a better one.  There were no steps in our family, just love.  My grandma was married to Norman until he died in 1998.  They had a wonderful life together, and he took care of her.  In fact, he is still taking care of her, and has made sure that she is comfortable and secure in her old age.  It is funny how life works out sometimes.  There are many times that we may find what we need when we are young, but we are not ready to receive it.  If we did receive it, we would not appreciate it.  Sometimes we have to experience how difficult things can be when we go the wrong direction in our lives to appreciate how right everything feels when we go the right direction.  

God teaches us these lessons everyday.  We have all wanted something immediately.  When we do not get it, we do not understand why.  It upsets us, challenges our faith, and makes us question God.  It may be something that we need, but God is not ready to give it to us.  It’s not that He wants to be unkind, but He wants us to be patient.  There is a lesson in the waiting, and God wants to teach us that.  There is also a lesson in the receiving of a gift after wanting it so long.  If we did not wait and work for something, we would not appreciate it as much. We would have missed some of the blessings and faith builders that were on the path to finally having what we had wanted all along.  God wants us to be patient.  He wants us to have faith in Him and truly believe that His timing is perfect.  He wants us to have the desires of our hearts, but he wants us to be in the position to receive them and appreciate them.  He wants us to see that He aligned our path perfectly to receive the gift.  

So, if you are waiting for or wanting something, and you cannot understand why God has not provided it yet, think of my grandma.  She wanted something for most of her life, but God was not ready for her to receive it.  When she was ready to receive it, she was older and wiser and could truly appreciate that gift.  She could see God’s hand in leading her to the gift.  It made her a stronger person, it taught her to be patient, and it strengthened her walk with God.  It also brought her unimaginable peace and gave her a firm foundation to face the trials in her life that were yet to come.  So, be patient with God.  Let Him lead the way.  Trust His timing and get ready to receive the peace that He wants all of us to have because PEACE MATTERS.  

~Dan ~

This picture of my Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Norman was taken after their wedding in 1961.  They were finally back together and they were both so happy.