When I see red, I think of my Grandmother

This phrase has two meanings for me.  First, my grandmother, Mae Chronister, loved the color red.  Her Christmas tree had all red lights and all red ornaments.  (Actually quite pretty!) She often wore red and her house was filled with red objects.  So whenever I see red or think about red, I think of my Grandmother who I loved so much.

Of course, to “see red” also means to be angry and lose one’s cool.  And I try to think of Grandmother at these times also.  She was a loving and patient person who always saw the best in everyone.  She led a dedicated team feeding the children at an elementary school, and everyone knew who she was…and she knew all of them!  She later shared her love of travel, leading a busload of senior citizens across the country, regaling them with the history and fun facts of the places they visited.

I always thought of my Grandmother as a peace-maker and she was always able to help those in the middle of a kerfuffle find their way out and end up as friends again.  So when I find myself upset or angry, I try to think of my Grandmother and channel her ability to see the best in everyone.

I’ll ask myself, “What perspective am I missing here?”  Let me stop and breathe and look at the bigger picture.  Is this person hurting, or frightened, or have they been told an untruth?  Can I find a way to find common ground and common humanity?

It isn’t always easy, but when I “see red” I try to think of what Mae Chronister would have done.  She would have brought her humor, and her faith, and probably a delicious baked good to the situation.  Let me be the bigger man, take a moment, and perhaps make some cookies.

Pictured L-R: My Grandfather, me, and My Grandmother, in red (of course) and around food.

Tim Hinton

Apri 13, 2024

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