Good-byes had been said for the two months prior to this day since my grandma had been given the fateful news of brain cancer.
My best friend was leaving earth this day as she was taking her final breath with her family surrounding her.
I had prepared, as one really can, for this day in my heart since I had been a child, and now being 28 years old and a mother to three young daughters , no preparation really was ever enough, but what was enough was God preparing my heart from my loss as I drove to the hospital in the early hours of that October chilly night leaving my sleeping family tucked in their beds.
I drove the few miles gripping the wheel with uncertainty of what I would encounter, and in that moment I offered up a prayer of help for my grieving heart and for how I would cope in the days, weeks, months, and years to come for the loss of someone so very dear to me..
. and He heard me.
A few weeks earlier my 28 year old self had crawled into my grandma’s beautiful big bed, adorned with her hand made perfectly stitched comforters.. her loving hands now tucked under the warmth of her creation.
I tucked in close to her as she lay so still in her bed longing for some conversation.. words of wisdom… a smile… anything… As I watch the ugly cancer take her away little by little, her mind having been quickly stolen from us in the past weeks, the grandma I knew was not always present anymore.. but today.. my grandma emerged for a special moment in time.
Many years of daily 11 a.m. phone calls to Grandma’s house in my adult years were burned deeply into my memory as were beautiful childhood memories. A new season was upon us as grandma was preparing to leave this world for a much more wonderful one, but I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet.
She was 71 years young and only 2 months earlier, still lived a vibrant life walking 2 miles daily with her sweetheart with whom she had shared shared life for 48 years and counting.
Sewing blankets for her family, ceramic classes in her basement, weekly trips to the city for the latest CDs, and making home movies were among the many wonderful things grandma left for us to remember her by.
25 years later those home movies, now handed down to me, are priceless treasures. I hungrily want to step into those movies on the screen of another time of the family, babies, the lake, and Christmases…. Oh the magic of Christmas that Grandma created through the years for her family.
Every part of her being was wrapped in her family. My baby girls had been wrapped in her lovingly made crocheted blankets as she rocked them gently and whispered loving things only babies could understand.
She taught me the art at a young age…crocheting …and how to hold my babies lovingly in my arms as she did.
Now nestled beside her, all these beautiful memories washing over my heart…my grandma’s eyes were telling a story… she was ready to take a journey to another land to meet her God and all those whom she had missed so dearly including her father who had suddenly died one Christmas… Oh how she had missed them all.
A moment my Grandma had with a best friend a few days earlier painted a picture for my heart that helped me to say goodbye.
As my Grandma had been laying in the bed so the story goes, her eyes staring far far away, her friend came in close and spoke in a low soft voice..
.” You see it… don’t you??”
My grandma slowly nodded her head now propped up in a soft white pillow.
She whispered slowly. YES..YES I do! and it’s BEAUTIFUL….
Hearing this shared experience from her friend I couldn’t wish her to stay any longer especially with the cancer stealing her away from us so mercilessly.
My God’s heart hurt with me.
As I gazed longingly at my beloved Grandma, her white wavy hair framing her face lined with much life lived, tears moistened the corner of my eyes. Grandma turned her gaze to me and asked very matter-of-factly,
“So what do you want to do with your life?”
My answer came quickly as I sat startled for a moment. I replied…
” I want to love my family like you have!”
It was a short simple answer not covering everything I wanted to do with my life, but in that moment.. loving my growing family and those to come, the way she had for so many years, covered everything. It was a legacy I wanted to carry on.
Many years later our fifteen foot harvest rustic wooden table would seat my ever-growing family, children and grandchildren and still counting.
I still feel her beside me as I open that front door as
my kids and grandkids come stumbling in with their giggles and “Grandma!” with arms open wide, my heart having those same beautiful memories of life with Grandma. I love them like she loved me /us ..her family. It was more than enough so long ago with my grandma…it was and still is a legacy of love.
Now making my way through the darkness on the deserted highway in the black of the night, my prayers to my God was answered. Our journey on earth together was ending, but her legacy would carry on 25 years later.
My heart knows she has enjoyed the beauty of Heaven..the glimpse she saw then, now experienced in full for all eternity. And just like my grandma’s love was enough for her family here on this earth, God’s love was enough for me in that change of season.. losing my friend, my grandma.
His love came in the form of peace Peace I still carry today knowing I too will experience the Wonders and beauties of Heaven as his child in His legacy of love.
Leave a legacy of love today.. it is the greatest gift you can ever leave♥️♥️