Goodbye Grandma

My grandmother just finished her life here on this earth. We celebrated her magnificent life as a family over the weekend. It was a blur of love and hilarious laughter, tears and remembering. We told story after story of her amazing ability to keep perfect order and her passion for people to know the love of Jesus. 

The lessons that I learned from my grandmother are not found in a workbook, cookbook, or textbook. They are found in her example and her endless endeavor to teach us to be righteous and wise. Much of what she taught us is found in the Bible. Mom gave me her Bible over the weekend. It is full of her notes and I just can't wait to find them as I read through it. 

Grandma was certain that I should wear makeup. She was certain that I should use Clinique skin care products. Maybe she was right. Maybe my skin would be much better off if I had been as maticulous about skin care as she was. She would take me to the Clinique counter to find a lipstick and to get soap and cleanser and lotion. 

Her shoes, clothes, purses, and sweaters were all folded perfectly and color coordinated. She was coordinated.

Her voice was so soothing. Her song – always praise.

There were days I would call her from far away places and tell her I missed her and she would calmly explain that everything was okay and that she was proud and glad that I’d found adventure and that it was good to go away. She would encourage me to pray and then pray over me with such sweetness and peace.

She lived a full life. She didn’t want it to stop being full and she didn’t really want to be restrained to her room or to a chair or a bed. I’m glad she isn’t restrained anymore, but I will miss her.

Here were the words I wrote to share at her service:

Grandma loved ceremony. There was perfect order to her process of canning figs, keeping flowers, giving gifts, meal preparation, preparing for holidays and even getting ready for the day.

Whatever she did, grandma did it well and finished it beautifully.

From wiping the rim on the jelly jar and returning it to it’s rightful spot in the refrigerator door to ironing the sheets, making a middle crease, lining it on the bed just perfectly symmetrical, to picking out the napkins and matching centerpiece at mealtime, grandma was thoughtful and meticulous.

But she loved to laugh about it too. She had a drawer of colorful napkins to match the meal or holiday. It was the grandchildren’s job on occasion to arrange this. Jade was given the job. When we all arrived at the table, there was a different napkin at each spot. A multicolored fiesta. At first glance, grandma saw that something wasn’t right, but with a smile and a chuckle, we sat down to eat. Just as long as we didn’t wrinkle our napkins.

Grandma loved the order of worship. She loved to share about the importance and the beauty of the liturgy, the symbolism of the service, and the power of the sacraments. Every day she read the Bible readings that she had listed on a laminated sheet matched for the time in the church calendar. She read Oswald’s Chambers my Utmost for His Highest Every day. She prayed for all of her family by name and for the lost and the sick every single day.

She did all of this gracefully, beautifully, and without fail.

This allowed her to listen to God and hear from the Holy Spirit and speak it into our lives.

I know there are countless stories in this room and around the world much like this one:

Several years ago, a dear friend called. She was in great distress as her relationship and world seemed to crumble. She flew into Charlotte gaunt and full of fear and she was coming to me for help. I drove her straight to grandma and grandpa’s. Two hours passed. She walked out of their sunroom a different person. A few days later, her now husband called me. “What did they do to her?” he asked. It wasn’t anything they did, it was the work of Holy Spirit and the truth of God’s word spoken into her life by my grandparents.

Grandma exuded order and truth and peace. She has passed that to us. She left a priceless legacy. Grandma now stands in glory face to face with her God. Until we meet her, let us practice, in our lives, her love for the beauty that she found in ceremony.


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