When the world used to stop

I miss my grandmother most on Good Friday. Ironically, it was a day I did not particularly enjoy spending with her.
This was my mother’s mother. We called her Nanny.
My mom and her siblings always referred to my Nanny as “a living saint.” They were probably right. The only time in her life Nanny did not live in poverty was in her old age when her grown children were able to pamper her. Her husband, my mother’s dad, died when my mom was only 13 and the eldest of six children. But my mom always told us Nanny spent her whole life singing the Lord’s praises. She had very little materially, but in her eyes she had everything. She went through a good portion of her days with a rosary in her hand and a song on her lips.
Good Friday when I was a kid was a day of solemnity, especially during the hours of noon to 3 when, according to Gospel accounts, Christ was suffering and dying on the cross. When I was little, Mom used this time for us to color hard-boiled eggs. But we had to be nearly perfectly quiet. The TV and radio were turned off and we could only talk in whispers. God help any of us who broke into a fit of giggles, which inevitably one or all of us did.
But quiet prevailed outside of our home too. Many business actuality closed their doors. In many ways it seemed the whole stopped.
Nanny spent those three hours in church. She would sit in a pew the whole while praying and meditating. I joined her once in a while but generally it was believed I was too young to be put through such an ordeal. That changed when I got my driver’s license. Then it became my job to not only take Nanny to church but also to sit there with her. It was the longest three hours of my life. But how I wish I could have just one of those Good Fridays back.
I tell her that almost every day when I talk to her during my prayers.

Ed Ackerman