29: Pizza Night

29: Pizza Night

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: For Mom, with Love

Pizza Night

A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend.

~Author Unknown

My first week at college was rough. I already had two quizzes to study for, a project to begin, and a pile of lecture notes to review. My financial aid was a mess, and my roommate wouldn’t speak to me. Everything was unfamiliar, and I didn’t know anyone. This was not how I had planned things.

While I was only three hours from home, it seemed much farther. I couldn’t wait until the weekend.

Finally, it was Friday. I told my roommate I was going home. He actually acknowledged me by nodding his head once. If Western had a degree in video games, this guy would get an A. As I drove home, I prayed and asked the Lord to please take my mess and take control over it.

I got home and no one was there. “Great,” I thought. “Just when I need them the most.” Then, out of the blue, it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen my grandmother in weeks even though she only lived ten minutes away.

As she was expecting no company, Grandma’s porch light was out. I could see the light of the TV flickering in the window. I knocked at the door and heard Grandma coming to the door. Suddenly, I was blinded by the porch light and the door swung open. “Well, hello there! I sure didn’t expect to see you,” she exclaimed.

Pictures of all the grandkids crowded the mantel and every available space on every shelf in the living room. The ceramic pig that had given Grandpa the last smile I saw him smile sat on a shelf across the room from me. I still remembered giving it to him for Christmas more than fifteen years ago. The wooden duck our last pastor had carved for Grandma and Grandpa sat on yet another shelf. I could see into the kitchen from where I sat and noticed the door to the stairwell. That stairwell led to an upstairs adventure paradise for us grandkids for so many years.

I was already glad I had come to see Grandma. We talked about my week. I had so much to tell. I had been there for over an hour when Grandma asked me something I never thought I’d hear her ask. “I have a pizza in the freezer. You in the mood for pizza?” she asked.

“You like pizza, Grandma?”

“I love pizza, especially after I doctor it up!”

Grandma is well known for her cooking. I couldn’t imagine what doctoring up a pizza meant to her.

As we added extra cheese, pepperoni, and peppers to the pizza, I realized I had never really had a conversation with Grandma until that night. My grandfather had passed away nearly fifteen years earlier, and I always regretted that I never really got to talk to Grandpa. I suddenly felt so blessed to have this evening with Grandma. The pizza turned out awesome. The best pizza I had ever had, in fact.

The thing I noticed about Grandma was that she really listened to me. Often, I find myself interrupting people to give advice. I realized that sometimes we just need to listen. Grandma would only occasionally say, “Just pray about it.”

So I prayed about my situation all weekend. The next week was so much better. I didn’t even go home that next weekend. I hadn’t even realized that Western had such a beautiful campus. I had been blinded by my troubles but Jesus had removed the trouble. Now I could see.

I started making a point to get to Grandma’s at least once a month for pizza. We still have those pizza nights four years later. I’m just thankful that the Lord led me to Grandma when I needed an ear. As the ways of the Lord often turn out, I got so much more.

~William Mark Baldwin

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