Friday, April 25, 2014

To Be Absent From The Body...



This past Saturday my grandmother went to be with her Lord and Savior. What a mixture of emotions! The sadness for the loss of such a special woman, the grief of my mother and her siblings, and my grandfather.



But then, the absolute excitement for her. She is finally in the presence of her Lord-- a place she has longed to be for many years. I can remember her pleading with God, "What more can I do here?", as she lay in bed, unable to go out or see or clean or care for Grandpa. As long as she was able, she spent her days sharing the Good News of Christ with anyone and everyone with whom she came in contact, even when that was only the doctors and nurses she saw.

Grandma also believed very strongly, more than anyone I've ever met, that memorizing Scripture was of utmost importance. Even though she was legally blind for the past 11 years, she still worked on her verses every day. She could only memorize a new one each week, rather than the multiple verses per week she used to memorize, but she kept at it. She always went over the old ones she had learned, too. What a blessing to have those words in her mind when she could no longer see them on paper.

My grandmother was also one to pray. She was a real prayer warrior. If you asked her to pray about something, you could count on it getting done, many times. She would often call me to ask what she could pray for-specifically- when she prayed throughout the day. If she didn't have specifics, she would still pray.

Grandma always had gardens. My favorite flower that she grew was the "Snap dragon". I loved to go outside as a child and pinch the little flowers, making them open like a dragon's mouth. She also grew beautiful roses and they always smelled great. There were vegetables, too, but her grapes were the absolute best anywhere. I think they were Concord and are tough to find around here just for eating. I tried for many years to find the exact flavor of her grapes in the stores.




Maybe it was the era she came from, but Grandma always had an immaculate house. When I would stay with her there were daily chores to be done. I had to begin the day with washing my face, "with cold water" to make it shine. I used her Dove soap, a smell I still remember. Then, I'd slide down her carpeted stairs on my stomach and turn off the stairway lights with the push of a button. I always felt like I was running an elevator when I turned off those lights. Then, there was dusting and dishes and vacuuming to do. I once asked her why I had to vacuum the dining room since there weren't any footprints in there and you could still see the lines from the last time it was vacuumed. Obviously it was still clean. "Well, dust still falls on the carpets and needs to be picked up." I was vacuuming up dust. I'm not sure there was any dust to fall on the carpets! I remember one time when my mother found a cobweb before Grandma did. She had to call all her siblings and share the news. It was such a big deal to find any dirt or dust or cobwebs anywhere in Grandma's house. Poor Grandma! She quickly took care of the cobweb.

My grandmother was the only woman I ever heard my dad call "classy". Mr Farmer agreed and so did most who met her. The word perfectly described her. There was just something about her. She refused to gossip or even really hear it. She would listen and when you were done she'd say, "Well, now." in a dismissive tone that left you sure that you had gossiped and should not continue. But she never came out and told you that. She just had a way of saying things that left you to make the decision, but you were sure of what the right decision was.

Grandma was married to my grandfather for 67 years. Sixty-seven years! In the last few years Grandpa had to care for her and she hated that. She told me that it was her job to take care of him. She did that faithfully for so many years. I told her she needed to let him take care of her. A woman so frail and in the hospital (at the time) and yet, she felt badly that she couldn't serve my Grandpa. If only more women would find joy in serving their husbands and more men would take the responsibility to care for their wives in such a loving way!

I will miss my grandmother greatly, but I know I will see her again someday in heaven, where she is no longer in pain, and she can see her Lord and worship at his feet.

17 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about the passing of your grandmother. It is so wonderful to know that you will be able to see her again and that at this moment she is in the presence of the Lord.

    When I was little and would stay with my grandmother she always made me wash my face with cold water in the morning also. Funny the things you remember.

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    1. Thanks, Peggi. There are days when I wish I was there, too. :)

      The cold water must have been another one of those "things of the time".

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  2. So sorry about the loss of your Grandmother. She did indeed sound like a wonderful lady! Thanks for sharing her with us.

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  3. Very nice tribute to your Grandma, sorry for you loss. On the brighter Side, Happy Birthday to You! Have a great day! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Aunt J.

      And Mr Farmer is taking me turning 40 harder than I am! Apparently he wants to be married to a young chick not an old hen. :)

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  4. What a very nice tribute to your grandma. I am sorry for your loss but rejoice with you in her home-going.

    I don't use dove soap myself but it was always in the soap dish at my (maternal) grandma' s house. Whenever I smell it I think of her. Lava soap makes me think of my grandpas, both of them ,cleaning up after a day at work.

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    1. Thank you, Athanasia. It's neat how smells can bring back such nice memories.

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  5. What a nice tribute to your grandmother, sorry for your loss. She would be happy that you remembered her like this.

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  6. Thank you! Just this morning we were talking about going down the stairs on our backsides at grandma's house. She had the best stairs for it! One of my favorite memories was her sandwiches, no matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to make them taste the same. I miss her, but rejoice in one day seeing her again!

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  7. I'm so sorry for your loss. Grandparents are special people and it sounds like yours was extra special. How wonderful you have those memories of her. And what a beautiful tribute you have written as well. I know just of the type of person that you talk of with your grandma and classy is the right word for them. Savor these memories...some never get them. Big hugs!!

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    1. Thanks, Brenda. Yeah, there doesn't seem to be much "class" left in society anymore.

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  8. Just read this today - yay being back in US and not needing a VPN.
    Great memories that left me teary-eyed. Those grapes were AMAZING!!
    Love you!

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    1. Glad to have you back stateside! We'll have to work on a visit.

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