Today my sweet grandmother, Grace Muller, went to heaven. She was 84 years old. She has always been precious to me. She taught me how to make cornbread, cakes, and many other recipes from scratch. I remember helping her snap beans for cooking. She taught me how to make biscuits from scratch and how to keep them from being too dry. She’d let me knead and roll the dough, then cut out and butter the tops of the biscuits. She always had dinner on the table when Grandaddy got home from work. We even put a cookbook together, called Cooking with Grace, to preserve the memories of her home-cooking. She tried to teach me how to crochet, but I wasn’t very good at it. She taught me the value of a clean house, and to this day, when I smell the lemon-scent of Pledge, I think of helping her dust. She never missed one of my basketball games. Once, when I was playing basketball in college, she came to see me play and saw we got a cold bagged meal for dinner. It bothered her that I didn’t get a hot meal, so she gave me a small microwave for Christmas that year. She used to braid my hair into two braids on either side of my head. I remember crying because I was so tender-headed. I loved to spend the night with Grandmama as a child. She would read Bible stories to me, and always end our prayers with the 23rd Psalm. I can remember her explaining to me exactly what it meant. I remember being so proud when she put my artwork up in her house for everybody to see. She always encouraged me to be the best at whatever I wanted to do. She sang alto and encouraged me to sing in the choir with her at a young age. Because I sing Soprano and we stood together in the choir, we often sang harmony together. Those are sweet memories. She was always a spiritual leader to her family. She showed me what it was like to serve like Jesus. She volunteered in the health room at Pacolet Elementary School. She was always a good neighbor and friend. I have never met a gentler soul. I think it is fitting for her to go to heaven in the spring because she loved to take care of her flowers and plants. The flowers remind me of her. Her name will be carried on through my cousin, Alanna Grace, and my daughter, Sophie Grace. By being like Jesus every day, she has marked my life forever.
A couple of years ago I interviewed her. She had had several mild stokes and I was afraid to lose her without asking her key questions and sharing precious conversations with her. I spent several weeks thinking about all the questions I wanted to ask. I felt like I knew a lot about her, but I was surprised to learn she had a brother named Carl, in addition to her siblings Herbert, Elizabeth (E. E.), and Verna, who had died as a baby. I learned a lot about her Uncle Floyd, who she referred to ask Gobbler. I also learned of her Uncle Henry, her mother, Lizzie, and that the three were raised in the Methodist Home in Decatur, Georgia. I found out her father, Jacob Andrew, was a farmer and had gotten sick and died when Grace was only 7 years old. Grace was born in 1929. She graduated from Reinhardt Academy. She was introduced to my grandfather, Frank, by a family friend, Adean Dillard. They were married at the preacher’s house in Pacolet, SC and stationed in Massachusetts at Fort Devin. The family church, Goshen Baptist Church, in GA, holds many keys to my family history. I was amazed to find key links on FindaGrave.com . More than I have ever been able to find through any family history research I’ve done before.
My heart is aching for her, because I’m selfish, and want her to be here with us. But she has not been herself for a long time. I believe she is in heaven now, healed and walking with her mother and my grandfather.