Every cloud has a silver lining. My great-grandma Whipple frequently expressed this sentiment. The first time I remember hearing it, I was sitting on the floor of her formal living room, enjoying a lollipop, because great-grandkids are allowed to do that sort of thing. And because she owned a candy shop.
This was the same day I managed to chip a tooth by biting into the hard candy while simultaneously lurching forward into the coffee table. I wasn’t too concerned, but appearance was important to my mother, and she was quite distraught with this new development in my smile. Grandma patted her arm and said, “Now, now, every cloud has a silver lining.”I have no clue what the silver lining was for a young girl who wore a chipped-tooth smile until her baby teeth fell out, but I suppose it may have brought some comfort to my mother.A few years later, when my permanent teeth had grown in, producing a gap-toothed smile, I asked Grandma the meaning of the familiar phrase.
She had a vivid, descriptive imagination like no one else I have ever known. She once told me that when she read the Bible, she didn’t just picture Jesus and his disciples on the seashore, she felt as if she were walking alongside them.
She answered, “I have never been on an airplane, but a friend once said to me, ‘Mary, it might be dark and gray as far as you can see, but when you get to the other side of those clouds, there are no shadows or darkness.” She continued, “No matter how dark things look Gingee, the sun is shining just on the other side of those clouds.”I was 12 the first time Grandma flew. Because she was elderly, she was allowed to board early, and my family was permitted to escort her onto the plane. In my mind, flying was reserved for celebrities, and the grandmother who got a free ticket when someone in the family wanted her to visit. So, it was a great treat to see the inside of an airplane.