Thursday, February 7, 2013


my grandma painted this ..."Mary and Rich"  or to me Grandmom and Grandad
my words are woefully inadequate here, but i must try.

hers was a life well-lived. my dear Grandma said goodbye to this world this week, the matriarch of my dad's wonderful family. and really, she was the one who set the tone for the whole lot of us. she did not live a glamorous life, but a faithful one. she was gracious, kind, warm-hearted, and compassionate always and she raised her six children to be the same. she has 16 great-grandchildren and she knew them all.

we had many family weddings and gatherings and she was always there, smiling at her beloved family and asking questions about each of our lives. we were all together at Christmas before she was diagnosed with cancer and i'm so thankful she was able to enjoy her people without that worry.

after her diagnosis, she continued to visit with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. she wrote letters to us...i received one just a couple weeks ago, even while on hospice!

grandma never grew cynical or bitter, though she had plenty of reasons to. even after losing sisters, husband, and her vision, she still looked for beauty and chose joy.

she was under-girded by her faith in God and she loved her church and its choir, birds, flowers, pets, music, art, people, and beauty in any form really.  my grandmom was a china and silver expert, but she could also find something lovely to say (and probably think!) about the most ordinary of things.  i loved this about her.

i'm so thankful for one final visit and conversation with this beloved lady a few days before she died.  she was in and out of sleep, but indicated that she wanted us to sing and pray.  we did.  her favorite hymn was a balm in gilead. 
i sang a broken version and then my parents and aunts joined in other hymns.  i'm told they encircled her bed and did this multiple times over the next few days.
when i had to leave, i held her hand and told her i loved her.  i told her to give grandad my love and that i would see her at the resurrection.  she could barely speak, but she said "i'll see you!"  i'll never forget that short conversation.
i will reflect on her beautiful life always probably and i'm so thankful to have her memory and her descendants to be reminded of the ways i long to be like her.  her life was a gift to so many, and will continue to be through her children and their children and their children. 
Grandmom was unselfish, making it all the more beautiful to see how unselfishly and lovingly her children cared for her in her final days.  she was someone who used gracious speech to encourage and imparted life with her words.
we are sad for our loss, but not for hers. we will miss her, but are oh so grateful for the 92 years she spent making her world better and know she is rejoicing eternally.