She radiates joy. Even in discomfort, she still smiles. Even when dementia takes away her memory sometimes, she still speaks with a gentle quiet that I wish I could emulate.
Her time here is not long. We know that. But after all these years, what we don’t know is how to let go.
My papa has been gone for nearly 21 years. She has spent that time alone. Not completely alone because of her children, children-in-law, numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But without his companionship.
I came across an old blog post I wrote about my grandmother nine years ago, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, that did a pretty good job of describing what she means to me and the rest of her family. I thought I would share some of that with you.
I’ve been trying for about two weeks to blog about my grandma. I just can’t ever seem to find words adequate enough to tell you about her.
I’ve always admired my grandmother. Her godliness, her character, her kindness and grace. But in recent years, I’ve seen a side of her I hadn’t before. My grandma is tough!
My Papa passed away 12 years ago next month. He was the rock of our family and left us suddenly. We weren’t quite sure what we would do without him. At the family visitation time, literally hundreds filed in for hours as a testament to the kind of man he was and the many lives he touched. I knew my grandma was dependent on him. He had steadily led his family and home for all those years and then all of a sudden he was gone.
But my grandma survived. And I’ve seen in her a strength and resolve that I don’t think I ever knew was there. There are times when I would take her home after she’d been out to eat with my family. I’d watch her walk into the trailer she now owns next to my uncle’s house and just be in awe at her confidence and independence. My sweet, kind, tenderhearted grandmother – probably the most unlikely candidate – has become the rock.
No matter what I’ve faced in my life, my grandma has always been there. When I had gallbladder surgery two years ago, she stayed with me every day while I recovered. Took me to the doctor, fixed meals for me, brought me anything I needed. And she never expects anything in return.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks ago and will have surgery on Thursday. The doctor expects that everything will be fine after the surgery and subsequent radiation therapy. And I have complete faith that it will be. The strength of my grandma and the healing power of my Father are going to shine through on this one. I just know it. Because my sweet, tenderhearted and kind grandmother is tough. And my God is even tougher.
Dear Lord, I place my grandmother in your hands, knowing that as much as I love her, You love her even more. Thank You for the godly example she has been to me, the rest of her family and so many others. I pray you will bless her with many more years of good health until You see fit to welcome her into Your loving arms. Amen.
She’s lived for more than 91 years. She’s seen the world transition from one of simplicity and integrity to the technology-driven, humanistic society we see today. Her eyes have seen much change in her lifetime, but she has remained much the same. Through five children, 18 grandchildren, more great-grandchildren than I can count at this point, and even a few great-great-grandchildren, her faith has remained firm, her love for Jesus unmoved.
I can still hear her sweet voice singing a song she sang to all of her grandchildren as she rocked them in that creaky rocking chair that used to sit in her house long ago. It’s one I have sung to my son from the time he was in the womb.
“Pony boy, pony boy,
Won’t you be my pony boy?
Don’t say ‘no,’ here we go
Off across the plain.
Marry me, carry me,
Ride away with you.
Giddy-up. Giddy-up. Giddy-up. Whoa!
My pony boy.”
When she leaves, she will leave more than just memories like the one of a song sung as we looked at her smile through drowsy eyes. She will leave a legacy. One of faithfulness, godliness, service, love, and kindness. She will leave behind a family that knows and loves Jesus, most of whom are serving the Lord daily, mainly because of the life she led and the values she instilled in her children.
The epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman, she is who I aspire to be. What kind of legacy will I leave?
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.” – Proverbs 31:29
Far surpass, my dear grandmother.
Love in Christ,
Scripture passages are taken from the ESV.