Heaven just got a little sweeter.
In the sacred, sober days leading up to Grandma’s passing, the veil between the present and eternity became very thin. Time stood still and we watched the things of earth grow dim as she was ushered into glory! Even through our tears, we celebrate that she has shed this shell of a body and has passed from glory to glory, being welcomed into the arms of her loving Lord who I know has now spoken, “well done my good and faithful servant!” Hers was a life well lived and well loved. The lifelong devotion of my sweet grandpa whom she’s known since childhood. 2 children. 11 grandchildren. 17 great grandchildren. What a legacy she has left!
“Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His saints. ” (Psalm 116:15)
What a woman. What a saint!
My own mother has often said that “sweet old ladies don’t come from crochety young women“. And its true. Our flaws are compounded as we age and our polished techniques of disguising our true colors become tarnished. The “real” us percolates to the top when our bodies grow tired or we face pain or heartache or loss. Grandma has had her share of each. Her life has been anything but easy and yet, none of us can remember Grandma with any expression other than a perpetual smile radiating on her face. Arthritis has wrought her hardworking hands for years, and still she’s served us pies and baked apples and homemade noodles every Christmas and Thanksgiving up to this, her 93rd holiday! Cancer has wracked her body in recent years, yet we’ve never heard her complain. Her fierce devotion for the lifetime of her disabled daughter set an amazing example to the rest of us. The mothering of my own daddy which contributed to the man of character that he is, shows some amazing parenting. And her loving marriage that has stood the test of time and weathered wartime separation, hard years of farming and raising two children goes down in my book as the greatest love story Ive ever personally witnessed. She has been well loved by this man who knew he’d found a remarkable woman when he married her 74 years ago.
Her happiness was not circumstantial. Her joy came from an internal beauty….the unfading beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit which is precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:4) Its an excuse to say that we are byproducts of our circumstances because she’s exemplified so much grace and poise in spite of life circumstances that have not been easy.
Even as cancer has taken its final toll on her body in the last days leading up to her death, she never lost her dignity. Her countenance and demeanor still possessed the grace, joy, peace and gentleness that we all love about her. As bodily functions began to shut down, her genuine sweet-to-the-bone temperament continued to seep out. I hear she was still thanking nurses and apologizing for troubling them up to the morning of her passing.
God was gentle in taking her….at peace, without a long struggle, in the company of those who love her, just as we had prayed. And as pained as we are to see one so loved taken from us, Evie said it best “Why are you crying mommy, she’s with Jesus and thats the best thing“.
And its true! Where oh death is your sting? Absence from the body is presence with Christ! For those in Christ, we have the assurance that this is not the end. Our lives here are temporal. Fleeting. This world is not our home. Because of the penalty for sin that Jesus paid on the cross, death does not have the final word. New life is ours in Christ. Our hope is secure. Our home is in heaven! Cant imagine facing death or witnessing the death of a loved one without that unshakable assurance.
Grieving hard here tonight in the quiet of my home. C is out of the country this week and the littles are sleeping. Feeling the distance acutely as extended family gathers and commemorates her life together this week and we are a world away with time marching on as usual. Aching for that closure of collective time to remember and reminisce and offer support to my siblings and parents and grandpa. But I smile through the tears as I imagine the reality that is hers. I had mother whisper to her yesterday that I have two babies in heaven waiting for her to hold them!
Perhaps we’ll have to do some commemorating of our own today and bake a pie in her honor!
“Her children arise and call her blessed. Her husband also and he praises her” (Proverbs 31:28)
So grateful for the gift of so many years we’ve been blessed with to love and be loved and learn from this beautiful godly woman!
Happy Homegoing sweet Grandma.