My grandmother, my last living grandparent in the world, went to be with Jesus today. Her husband of 64 years died in December 2012, which I wrote about in the post entitled Mourning.
She was a strong woman; very matter-of-fact. I remember after my grandfather’s funeral, we were sitting in the small house that she’d lived in forever, sitting at the table, just talking. And she abruptly said “Well, it’s 12 o’clock, time for lunch” and started preparing it. She raised seven children – two boys and five girls – in the tiny house. Her husband passed away quietly in the room right off the living room, where she had gathered her children for school.
A world without grandparents is darker, for sure. The ways that they enrich our lives are immeasurable, and the roles they play are unique. Remembering that in all things, in every situation, by prayer and with thanksgiving, I give thanks for the years she had, and the long, full life; for the lessons she taught; for the love she shared with my grandfather. I rejoice that she is reunited with the only love she ever knew. I thank God for her place alongside our Lord, after a life of being a good and faithful servant.
I know that this passage speaks of wisdom, but oh how I had this clear visual of her. In one hand, her long life; in the other, the riches and honor that awaited her, along with her husband and her Savior. She was a tree of life, bearing seven children and raising them to be loving parents themselves. Once, when I was much younger, I asked her what made her decide to have seven children; she looked at me with a sort of shock on her face as she told me that “That wasn’t my decision, dear; that was God’s.”
It’s not easy for those left behind; the seven children, now adults, that now face a world without parents. Those seven children have produced fifteen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren – with more to come, as many of the grandchildren are just coming of age. I pray for peace and comfort for them as they face another devastating loss, as they try and navigate this world that seems new and foreign. May they feel the power of God in every moment, and may every moment be an opportunity to draw closer to Him.