Thursdays with Edith


By Betty Slade

I stopped by to meet Edith Graham and thank her for reading my column. She is 93 years young with 10 children and a total of 78 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, many who live in Pagosa and call her Grandma.

I told my daughter about my meeting. She reminded me that I knew Molly, Clay and Tyson, and a slew of others from Pagosa. I didn’t know they were all part of Edith Graham’s family.

Thursday is the day my Sweet Al and I pick up and deliver home-cooked meals for Loaves and Fishes. Edith is the last stop of the day. I arrange the time so I can spend afternoons with her.

Thursdays with Edith feels like the book “Tuesdays with Morrie,” written 20 years ago. It’s a story about an old man, a young man and life’s greatest lesson. I thought I was opening her world a little wider, but I found very quickly she has opened me to a bigger world.

Edith, quick with one-liners, cute personality and a sharp mind, is a priceless treasure. I asked her why she moved to Pagosa.

“I came for a visit and stayed. You know, like the man who came for dinner.”

I said, “I know what you mean, we’ve got a couple of those who came for dinner and stayed.”

When I asked her about the body of believers she worshiped with, she replied, “Today, I’m a Presbyterian.”

I chuckled, “I know what you mean.”

Our Thursday afternoons are full of laughter and enjoyment. She showed me a journal with all her favorite scriptures. As I read them, I told her, “Those are mine, too.”

I asked her if she wrote.

“Yes, a little and I have a few poems. I’ll go get a couple for you to see.” I thought she’d bring one or two scribbled on an old napkin or a paper plate. No, she went to her drawer and pulled out stacks of 9×12 brown envelopes, typed books in each one of them, which she had written for her many grandchildren. What a treasure she is, along with the treasure she will be leaving behind.

I invited her to our writers’ group. She said she’d love to come. She doesn’t write so much anymore with her shaky hands, but would like to listen. She still had a lot of things she wants to write to her children. I suggested a tape recorder or an app on her computer where she could talk and it would type her words for her. She agreed and I offered to help.

Dr. Bernie S. Siegel endorsed “Tuesday with Morrie” and said, “This book is an incredible treasure. One’s sense of our mortality is a great teacher and source of enlightenment.” 

This is what Edith has done for me. She is a great teacher who is living in the fullness of her 93 years of life. She carries a source of enlightenment. Edith makes me want to aspire to live to the fullness of my life.

I read Psalm 16 this morning. I didn’t know it was called a golden song and has been described as “a sculptured writing in Gold.” It portrays the person with faith who has come into that intimate insight with God, the one who has been touched by the spirit of heaven and enlightened.

Final brushstroke: When I asked Edith how she was doing, she said, “It gets harder, I hate to tell you.” I didn’t hear sadness in her words; I heard the sterling core of her faith. Edith is a sculptured writing in gold and when I met Edith, I met a rare treasure.

Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of The SUN.