Freida leaned close to her granddaughter. “See that man over there?”
Her granddaughter, who was arrived the evening before Thanksgiving, nodded.
“Well,” Freida continued, her white hair in tight curls on her head. “He lost his wife, you know. Poor man.”
Jill pulled her head back. “Oh, no, Grandma. That’s my dad. You’re talking about my mom and she’s in town right now. She’ll be home in a little while.”
“Oh.” Freida cocked her head to the side. “All right.”
Five minutes later, she leaned toward Jill. “See that man over there?”
Jill took a deep breath. She’d already heard the story about Grandma’s Christmas choir – when Grandma was a teenager. Every five minutes or so, she heard the story again.
“Mom,” she asked when her mother walked in the back door, “what do you do about Grandma’s repeating stories?”
“Do the best you can,” she said.
Jill sat down with her grandmother again. “Did you sing in the choir, Grandma?”
Freida’s eyes lit up. “Let me tell you about the time when the Christmas tree caught on fire in the church.”
Jill knew the story. During the Christmas eve service, the candles on the tree bit into the wood and an usher grabbed a bucket from the back of the church.
“He tossed the water from the bucket onto the tree,” Freida said. “But he missed the tree and hit the choir. Bucket and all!” And she laughed.
Jill took her hand. “Do you have any bills to pay, Grandma?”
Freida tilted her head, her eyes puzzled. “I don’t know.”
“Do you worry about getting fired from your job?”
“I don’t think I have a job. I’m an old woman.”
Jill took her hand. “Do you have any worries?”
“What’s there to worry about?”
Jill kissed her grandmother on the forehead. “God has been kind,” she said.
Freida nodded. “I always remember that.”