Meta Foth wasn't a beauty by today's standards, was she? Overweight from all that good German food, wearing powerful glasses to make up for the removal of lenses clouded by cataracts, and owning a "house dress" wardrobe tiny enough to fit into the little closet in her bedroom, right next to mine.
She was no great genius, as far as I know. She had run a florist shop with her husband in their native Germany, and they opened another here in Plymouth, Wis., after immigrating to the Land of Opportunity in the 1920s. But by the time I knew her, she was living with us in Green Bay. She liked her soap operas and her afternoon naps, and greatly enjoyed her weekly bus trips downtown to the restaurant on the top floor of Prange's department store. She was somebody there; the waitresses knew her name (Granny, not Meta) and on those glorious occasions when she took me along, I could tell that they all liked her very much.
I don't remember her having a great sense of humor, or being one to roll around on the floor to play with her grandkids, either. She was old, after all.
But oh, how I loved her.
And love her still, of course. She left this earth in 1973, having already buried three of her four children. But I can't wait to see her again in heaven, healthy and happy and finally being every bit as important as the next person, because she is, like everyone else there, a child of the King.
In the meantime, I look in the mirror and see signs of her there, as well as of my dad, one of the three children she buried. It reminds me of the most wonderful childhood, and the most wonderful parents and Granny, anyone could ever want. It's pretty hard to get too upset about wrinkles or jowls or bags when they all point to such happiness long ago -- and, even better, to future joy forevermore.