My Grandmother, Beulah

 

Dwelling in Beulah Land                Charles A Miles, 1911

Far away the noise of strife upon my ear is falling.
Then I know the sins of earth beset on every hand.
Doubt and fear and things of earth in vain to me are calling.
None of these shall move me from Beulah Land.

Refrain

I’m living on the mountain, underneath a cloudless sky.
I’m drinking at the fountain that never shall run dry.
O yes! I’m feasting on the manna from a bountiful supply,
For I am dwelling in Beulah Land.

 

 

My Daddy’s Mother, as we called her, I did not know. When I sang with a Baptist choir and they sang so happily about Beulah Land, I felt guilty for even saying that name and confused by the lyrics as they were happy and upbeat.

We three sisters, at a very early age,were kept from seeing my Daddy’s mother and father and sister. We were told by my Mother that this decision saved their marriage. But what did it do to my Daddy? What did it do to me? What did it do to my sisters? We were not allowed; we were told stories by my Mother’s point of view about ‘them’. As good little girls, we believed what we were told.

I have come to understand, as an adult, how my Daddy’s sister was indeed a wounded lady-and no wonder. As a teen, she became pregnant. We were told Daddy’s mother ended that pregnancy and had her daughter sterilized-hard to believe-but true. The result was a young woman who married man after man totally embarrassing my parents. Divorce in those days was not widely accepted. Women who divorced were regarded as less than. That’s just how it was. No matter, she was and is a sad woman who has many issues-no wonder!

My Daddy’s mother, did that to her only daughter, she therefore had no biological grandchildren. My Daddy’s mother, through an edict from my parents, spearheaded by my mother, had no relationship with the three of us-her only biological grandchildren. Sad for all parties, no matter the said conflicts.

Beulah, became a word I related to a form of evil, the only personal evil I knew at the time.

Learning more about her life, I feel nothing but sadness for what appears to be a life full of struggles and pain. Beulah’s father was fishing with an acquaintance; they were about the same age. John had a family already and had divorced. He asked if his fishing companion had any daughters. Yes, and that was it; Beulah married a man her father’s age-25 years her senior. I wonder if love ever developed. I will never know.

What I do know is that John, her husband, was already retired after making money in the dry cleaning business. He also made money in other ventures, of which I either do not know, or do not remember. He was obviously a disturbed man. In today’s society he surely would have been diagnosed as bipolar with personality disorders. How do I surmise that? He would rage; he would throw things-and people; he ‘cursed like a sailor’ I’m told. Apologies to sailors.

Once, Beulah set down a cast iron skillet of cornbread at the dinner table. My father and his sister, witnessed their father curse the cornbread, Beulah, and fling the iron skillet out the window. An iron skillet is very heavy; I assume the window was totally obliterated; I assume Beulah had to clean up the mess-through tears if I had to guess.

Once, John snatched up Beulah’s only son, my father, and preceded to throw his son into the fire. Daddy’s uncle intervened and saved my father from certain disfigurement or death. Beulah must have been frightened out of her mind! I can imagine she ran for her son and fled. Love between those two, I think not!

It appears all Beulah’s marriage gave her was a son, a daughter, and money eventually passed to her upon her husband’s death. A daughter, who was a moral disappointment, and a successful son whose precious girls were absent from her life.

I can only imagine Beulah’s life from the little I know about her. Beulah’s name in the Bible means married. Beulah, my grandmother seemed to be married in name only. Beulah, my grandmother, was a grandmother in name only. 

Dear Lord, You alone know the total truth behind the lives of my parent’s parents. You alone know the lives lived, lies told, and love lost. I pray these souls, whose blood I carry, have found peace with You. I pray their differences are solved and that love reigns between them. Knowing that with You, ALL things are possible, might I please give and receive Beulah’s love in Heaven? I would long to refer to her not as Daddy’s mother, but as Beulah, my grandmother.

 

2 Corinthians 13:11  “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

 

 

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