I never thought much about the hereafter until the death of my grandmother Bessie Donovan. She had been a strong woman, highly intelligent, and had raised a family of six children entirely on her own after the death of her husband Ed.
When her children were grown they each went their own way and Grandmother was left alone. As she grew older and couldn’t get around very well, Grandmother often called on me for help. I worshiped her and enjoyed doing the small things she asked of me.
One day in June 1970 she called me and said she wanted me to have her spinet piano and I was to take it right away. She insisted that I take it before she died, for she felt her children would not remember it was to be given to me.
“They would only take it and sell it and I’d never get to play it again,” She said.
My twelve-year-old daughter Angela and I both play the piano well and one or the other of us often played for Grandmother in her home. I hated to move the piano but Grandmother in her home. I hated to move the piano but Grandmother insisted she knew best.
Then suddenly Grandmother died, three days after we moved the piano. One morning a few months after her death I woke up about four o’clock thinking I heard someone playing “The Old Rugged Cross” on the piano.
I got out of bed quickly turning on a light, I went to the piano and touched the keys. They felt warm. Just then Angela came in. “Mother, the hymn sounded lovely, but what are you doing up so early?”
I had wondered if I had been dreaming but when Angela spoke I suddenly understood what Grandmother meant when she said, “They would only sell it and I’d never get to play it again.”
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma