- Posted on Apr 13, 2012
When we were kids, my sister, Jane, and I often went to visit our grandparents Tom and Nellie Newsome in Talladega, Alabama, a four-hour drive from our home in Columbus, Mississippi. We’d hang out in Grandpa Tom’s country store, playing I Spy; my sister would spot something in the store and I’d have to guess what it was. There was a lot to choose from—baskets of apples, jars of pickles, or the cute little boy in a cowboy hat pictured in the huge advertisement hanging in the corner.
Then Mama New (she said the word grandmother sounded older than she felt) would lead us around the bend to their farmhouse and let us bake with her. By the end of the day, the kitchen floor would be blanketed with sugar and we’d be hoarse from telling stories. Mama New’s favorites were miracle stories. She didn’t just believe in miracles—she expected them.
“You just have to talk to God about what you need, and he’ll take care of the rest,” she told us. As Jane and I grew up, our favorite topic of discussion with Mama New became romance. One by one our friends settled down, and Jane and I started to get a bit worried about being single. After a particularly painful breakup, Jane announced she was giving up on marriage altogether.
“Be patient, Jane,” Mama New said. “Your husband’s just around the corner.”
Jane rolled her eyes. “Really, Mama New,” she said.
“I’m not just saying that. I’ve talked to God about it. Your husband’s just around the corner.” Then one time Mama New came to visit us in Columbus. We set to baking, just like old times. Nothing had changed, including our marital status. But I had a steady boyfriend, and Jane had just met a nice-looking lawyer named Dennis. That night Jane introduced Dennis to us before they headed out on their first date. As soon as the door closed behind them, Mama New turned to me with a sparkle in her eye.
“That’s him,” she said, “the one who’s been just around the corner.”
Jane and Dennis have been married five years now. Sure enough, when they met, Dennis lived around the corner from our house.
And that’s not all: when he was a child, Dennis modeled for advertisements. Remember the cute little boy wearing the cowboy hat in the poster that hung in Grandpa Tom’s country store? He was none other than my sister’s future husband!
Who knew? Mama New.