Genuine Love

A man holding a child's hand.

This morning I’m remembering my grandmother. When the topic of love of family crops up, Grandmartie is always at the top of my list.

My fondest and earliest memory is hearing her sweet voice singing a lullaby to me. Her arms enfolded me as she slowly tipped us back and forth in her rocking chair.

She loved my visits to her home. Delight spread across her face when I pranced into her kitchen after bounding up her back stairs. I eagerly walked into her first hug.

Living within walking distance of her home made it easy for me to see her often. Sometimes during our visits, when she had to tend to chores, I explored the attic, trying on old clothes and playing with her childhood dolls.

Grandmartie’s phone calls to my home always seemed to arrive at the perfect moment. Our conversations flowed easily.

As a rather shy teen, I received some wise advice from her that remains in my mind. “Gail, whenever you can’t think of something to say, just smile.” Not surprisingly, smiling at people comes easily to me. Most often the person smiles back. In that moment I see pleasure, and sometimes hope, in their eyes.

When I moved to my college dorm, she wrote beautiful and descriptive letters that left me feeling as if she were sitting beside me.

The most precious treasure Grandmartie deposited in my heart were her words about Jesus. Each time she talked about Him, her eyes sparkled. From early years, she created in me a desire to know Jesus like she did.

During my sophomore year, when I made my personal decision to invite Jesus into my life, Grandmartie is the one I called. Our hearts grew even closer.

When I began my career as a missionary, God revealed His plan for my life: to lead others to the Savior. That’s what Grandmartie had been doing her whole life. When she and my grandfather moved into a retirement home, she found many more people to love, and encourage, and introduce to Jesus.

After my grandfather passed away, her life remained full. Even when dealing with the inconvenience of macular degeneration and the eventual move to a care center, her sweet spirit and loving smiles continued.

A few months before her 100th birthday, God called her Home. Though we can no longer see each other, I will always remember the sound of Grandmartie’s lullabies and the love she poured into my life that drew me to her Savior.

During this month of love, I hope you will take time to remember the person who first filled your heart with love for Jesus.


“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.

With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”

(Jeremiah 31:3)

Published by Gail Porter

Gail Porter is an author, inspirational speaker, and workshop leader. Her latest book is Will the Real Person Please Stand Up? Rising Above the Fear of Rejection.


  • Dena

    February 16, 2023 at 4:57 PM Reply

    What a beautiful memory you have shared about your grandmartie, Gail! I was touched to read it.

    • Gail Porter

      February 22, 2023 at 9:52 AM Reply

      Thank you, Dena! Keeping memories in our hearts is a wonderful way to stay connected to people who have impacted our lives.

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