Well, March was one of those months. So extremely sad, but so happy at the same time. March 21, 2011 my Grandma died. I think I’ve mentioned here at least once, if not ten times that she is my favorite person, ever. It’s hard to even know what to write. I would love to go on and on and start from my first memories of her to my last, but I know that is probably not a realistic thing to do! I will try to keep it brief, I just know that whatever I write, it will not do her justice.
I am continually amazed at God’s timing in all things. He put in my hands the book One Thousand Gifts and I had just finished it a few weeks before everything with my Grandma started going south. I am forever grateful because I really think it gave me a much better perspective on the end of her life.
I am so truly thankful for her life and the fact that she was my Grandma. While I am so sad that she is not here, I am so thankful that she lived 92 years and was amazingly healthy during most of that time.
I am so thankful that we moved closer to home. Grandma had pneumonia in November and just never could get back to 100%. While she was fine at home and was able to take pretty good care of herself, her body was just done. Since we were closer I was able to visit her, she was able to visit me, I was able to spend her last Christmas with her, able to see her in the hospital and sit by her bed. I was able to take my kids and brighten her day. I am so thankful.
I am so thankful for Todd. I am thankful for the life he provides for us. He works a lot. Too much I think, but that is the job he has and he is committed and good at it. When we knew we were close to the end of our time with Grandma, I had planned to leave without my kids as soon as he got home and stay his day off and come back home. He called and said he was coming home early. When he got here he said he had taken off Monday too so take the time I needed. I still can’t believe it when I think about Todd’s sacrifice (Mondays are not good days to be off!) and the way God timed this out. I left with no food in the house, no plans for the kids, and Todd just dealt with it. Not that he can’t, but this is usually my “job”. I was able to go three times in March, once without my kids. I am so grateful to Todd for the time, the car, the gas, all the things he provides to make these things happen.
I got to the hospital on Saturday afternoon. Went to my parents house that night to sleep and ended up going back at 2 am because they called and said to come. Well, she was fighter, so this was not her time. But, we had a fabulous day on Sunday. Most of my cousins were there, my brothers, my sister-in-law, aunt, and uncles. Other friends and relatives came in and out throughout the day. Grandma didn’t know, or at least we don’t think she did. But, we had the best day. We sat around and told funny stories, happy memories, laughed, cried. It was perfect. I am so thankful for my family. I am so thankful because our family wouldn’t be what it is without my Grandma’s influence. All of her grandkids think we were her favorite! She had a special gift of making everyone she met feel special, but especially us. She was so funny, so fun, and so interested in us.
That night I finally tore myself away and went to my parents house. Just my mom and my aunt were there when she passed in the middle of the night. I knew this was how it would happen. Grandma didn’t like a fuss over her. She liked seeing all of us and having everyone around, but she liked to just be with us, it was not ever about her. I knew when it was quiet and dark, she would be done, and she was. I am so thankful I was at my parents. When my mom got home, we went to Grandma’s house and started getting things in order and just sat there, soaking up as much of her as we could. Then I came home to Missouri to get my family and go back for the funeral.
The funeral was perfect. The weather was perfect. Beautiful sunny skies with spring in the air. The flowers were perfect. They looked like something she would have picked out of her yard. There were so many beautiful flowers you could smell them when you walked into the funeral home. Two preachers from her church conducted the service and did such a good job. There was congregational singing that she would have loved. One of my favorite memories is sitting with her at church and hearing her sing. She loved to sing and loved good singing. There were so many people there. Even though she wouldn’t have loved the fuss, I know she would have been pleased to know that so many people cared for her and her family. I am so thankful for everyone that cared for us that day!
So now, life goes on. Grandma was very practical and matter-of-fact. Such a strong person. She would just get up the next day and do what needed to be done. I wish I was more like that! Of course I am a crier and cried so much that week that I couldn’t even wear contacts half the time! Of course with four kids, my life goes on whether I want it to or not! My mom and her sister and brother have the task of taking care of all of her “business”. Luckily since she was practical, so everything is in order and taken care of the best it can be.
Everyone seems fine. How could you not be? It is hard not to smile through the tears just knowing Grandma. I know it might not be easy to feel this way if she had not had a fair shot at life. If this was someone young, I might not feel this way. I don’t think I will ever stop missing her, but she lived 92 years and made the most of it. She took care of herself and was able to be independent up until the end.
I am so thankful. So thankful for her life, for her example. I am so thankful for Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. In my eyes she was perfect, but I know she is human. But with God’s grace, I know she is spending eternity with God. Thankfully she doesn’t need much of His mercy and grace because I will need a lot to get there with her someday!
So, thank you God for Grandma. Thank you Grandma for the life you led and loving your family. You made all of us better people.