I first met Babe a year ago, during one of my regular beach prayer retreats. I was fascinated with her life and faith then. You can read it here.
Now 88, Babe looks the same. Still gracing the dune bridge to the beach on her red scooter, sun-weathered and brown. A peeling nose has prompted a straw hat that tames her blond hair. And she still basks in the free beauty of God’s wild ocean.
But her life has been anything but predictable in the past 12 months.
Greyhound All the Way
Though all her children are gone, Babe has grandchildren scattered across the country. Last year she boarded a Greyhound bus in Orlando, with a walker replacing her scooter. She sat near the driver to feel safer. Five stops and bus changes later, she stepped off in Seattle.
“God made a beautiful country—I loved seeing it, “Babe recounted. “And the people are beautiful too.”
An Unexpected Flight
After visiting with the Washington grandkids, she hopped on another bus down to Portland. What an adventure awaited her! Her grandchildren whisked her off to Mt. Hood. As she stepped away from the car at a scenic overlook, a whirlwind lifted her tiny frame and her walker high in the air.
“I thought I was on my way to heaven,” she said.
But no, just as suddenly the wind released her and she crashed to the ground, followed by her walker right on top of her. Solicitous grandchildren insisted on a trip to the ER. Nothing broken. Just bruises and aches and pains for several days.
She saw the miraculous hand of God in it, and loves to tell the story.
A Surprise Gift
Then, as we talked, a sheepish grin crossed her face, and she giggled. “God sent me a man,” she said. “His name is Dan and he is such a gift. We eat our meals together, play cards, talk.”
And every day Dan delivers her and her scooter to the beach bridge, where Babe greets and engages almost everyone who crosses. At 4 p.m. he comes to pick her up and take her back to her home.
I tell her she is giggling like a school girl with a crush. She tells me that God has surprised her with His kindness.
What’s next for Babe? Only God knows. He clearly isn’t through with her yet.
C 2011 Judy Douglass