Pegi Bricker: Don’t go breakin’ my heart


I have two very beautiful, talented granddaughters.

What other types exist? My oldest is 11, and while it is a pure act of disobedience toward my pleading with her to stop gaining inches seemingly overnight, every night, she reminds me I need to take my complaints to God. Did I tell you she is an old soul way ahead of her years in wisdom? I don’t like seeing her so tall, so gifted, so … well, so grown up.

My namesake is 7 and active as a young gazelle with muscles that ripple from her continuous gymnastics and dance training with practically all of the equipment needed to train thanks to her mom’s ability to find anything on Marketplace.

Mom bought her a new and gigantic trampoline, where you can find her dancing, flipping, tumbling until suppertime when she’s called in to reluctantly spend time sitting still to do the dreaded and completely un-understandable second grade math or to dismiss my attempt to hide veggies in her spaghetti sauce while asking if we have any cookies.

Our 7-year-old caused my epiphany just as school’s summer break was beginning yesterday.

Two tiny anecdotals:

I say “yesterday,” but really, that was over a week ago when I started this edition of the Bricker Times graciously printed in The Tribune because my new laptop decided to verify it was really me, pegipooh, and locked me out. I have spent the past week trying to get up and running again. Hold your applause, please. I did it, and I did it on my own. I refused to go to my expert IT son, Joseph, because like my granddaughters, I have to grow up.

My grandparents used to ask “Why did they change math? Mathematical law cannot be changed.” I literally can hear my grandpa’s voice coming out of my mouth when our entire household is gathered around one simple problem from a second grade workbook. Why does it take eight steps to add a couple of two-digit numbers? Ha! Yep, new math.

Wow! That little tizzy felt good.

Back to the subject at hand, it was sweet Diana who unknowingly shattered my heart.

Me: “Hi, Diana. I’ve been waiting for you. Let’s go outside and play.” (Translation: She does her usual flips and flops as I applaud with precision.)

Diana: “Nana, I want to play with my friends,” giggling as she flings backpack, shoes and her lunchbox all over the living room disappearing in a whirl of excitement.

Me: “OK, honey,” I say, to an empty room as I sigh, picking up everything and shutting the door behind her.

Now this little convo was simple, and I am certain it is very common in most households, but to me, it was the final act in me being “Nana, Queen of the World.”

Holding onto hope, I hit up my oldest grand for a little TLC. We’ve been reading a book about a nana and her granddaughter for way too long, and I had high expectations to finish it this week before she left for Florida. Not even close. She was in mourning after being passed over at her end-of-the-school-year award ceremony, where she had dressed up just knowing her straight A+ record in honor classes would grant her recognition. She also had stepped on a bee on the way home, had a headache and when is dinner going to be ready?

Exit stage left. Final curtain.

Retreating to my room, I buried my heart in making pocket letters after checking if the juices ran clear on our roasting chicken. Juices were still pink. My heart was still breaking.

I recently read that a sign of a genius is the ability to take one thing and relate it to something completely different. I don’t claim to be anything close to a card-carrying member of Mensa International, but I do have this ability. I can also get my whites white without bleach, and I get distracted very easily, like a squirrel chasing two tennis balls. I used to be a great multitasker. Now, I am knee deep in unfinished paragraphs, art projects and unfolded towels.

The holy spirit brought to my attention that the issue wasn’t my nana status. The real issue, Jesus. Is he the king of kings and lord of lords that I claim him to be? Or am I pretending that he is the king of my heart? Lord of my life? The center of my thoughts, actions and reactions?

A simple question came up at that moment: How often do I tell my Lord Jesus that I would rather go play with friends, or my toys, or anything other than spend time with him? How often do I tell him, not now, I’m hungry, or I don’t “feel” like it right now, or I didn’t get what I was expecting, so I ain’t spending time with you because I’m mad?

So am I still just a spoiled, fat, little baby after years of calling Jesus Lord? “Do I want my bottle and I don’t mean maybe?” sang Amy Grant in the ‘80s.

My granddaughters are growing up and needing and alas wanting me less. This morning (mourning), I started out to study God’s word when the holy spirit blessed me with his familiar heart check. How often have I told my Lord that I want to play with my friends, or read another book first, finish a movie, lay down and nap, do anything and everything other than spend time with him? My answer is not as often as in my past, but yes, I still do this.

Knowing how yesterday evening left me crushed. What more do I do to my Abba (Bible speak for daddy) certainly much more. He is Lord. I am nana, aka Former Queen of the World.

Did you ever notice that when you go to study your Bible, all of a sudden, an almost insatiable need to vacuum comes over you, or to write a letter to your friend (old-fashioned talk for texting), or “It’s so pretty. Cocoa would love to go for a walk.” Well, I have noticed, and being aware of such a tendency, I have to take measures so my time at Jesus’ feet doesn’t turn into a rager of closet cleaning. I. Am. Not. Kidding. The struggle is real.

What steps do I take to make sure I put my Lord Jesus in the forefront of my time? I’d love to confess and say I am always successful, but I am me, and me don’t do what me wants to do, and me does do what me don’t want to do. The Apostle Paul knew the reality of the struggle, so we all are in good company.

Like Paul, I’ve literally had to train myself to get into the word, to meditate on the word, to read and study the word, to copy verses and to pray the word. There’s a secret to this success. I ask the holy spirit to cause me to hunger for the bread of life, to thirst for the living water like a nana dying of thirst in 90-degree heat at a soccer game where someone forgot old people appreciate shade.

I also ask the holy spirit to bring to remembrance what I study up and out of my life as a testimony of what Jesus has done and is doing in my life. Sometimes, I use words.

If you have read this far, then you probably are someone who read my last column about the horrendous unabating pain of multiple sclerosis. Perhaps it was you who prayed for me. Thank you. I am feeling much better, making regular laps at our Shield Park Pool, using my walker less, and while I never lost my joy, I am much happier. My husband thanks you, too.

Pegi Bricker is a Seymour resident who has lived with multiple sclerosis for 20 years. Send comments to [email protected].

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