She had a fairly remarkable, but at the same time, ordinary, life. I'll share a few of the highlights with you.
She had a college degree before most women were able to go to college.
She was a working mom in the 1950's and 1960's.
She was the best cherry pie maker I have ever met.
She was a teacher to countless numbers of children.
She spoke Spanish and English, and helped little children learn both.
She was a daughter, to both her parents and her husbands parents.
She was a sister to many.
She was a mother to four.
She was a grandmother to four also.
She was quite possibly my mom's best friend.
She was probably a huge influence on my mom and helped shape her into the woman my mom is today. Which in turn has shaped me into the woman I am, and am becoming. She was the wife to one man, with whom she shared 67 blessed years of marriage, but this is not to say that she didn't share in many heartaches or have difficult times.
She loved the Lord and Christian Radio.
She passed on a legacy of faith to my mother, for which I am thankful.
I remember going to her house as a child and having so much fun playing in her closet and getting Cherry RC Cola's from her pantry. She always stored them up for me, so I could have a few when I came to visit. These were the years she taught me about QVC, and how to purchase something from there.
I remember when she and my grandpa moved to my hometown and I was sad we wouldn't be able to go visit them in the other city any longer, but was excited when I realized we would be seeing much more of them. I remember unpacking things in their new home and picking fruit off the tree in their new backyard to make a pie. I remember pitting cherries for the same reason. And I remember listening to her tell my mother and I each step to take to make a pie taste just as good as the one she had made.
She used to tape television shows for me on nights when I was away from my house for church or school activities. We didn't have a VCR that recorded, and she did, so she learned my television show viewing schedule and would tape the episodes for me each week.
As she grew older, my mom and I would sneak over to say hello and goodnight in the evenings, or to say bye before I left to go back to college. Sometimes, she and my grandpa would already be laying in bed and we would listen to them talk to one another. How tender and sweet were those moments, that the Lord let us have with them. Other times we would talk for a few minutes, after her radio program had finished but before she was ready to sleep. I loved going over, but sometimes now I wish I had stayed there longer during those visits. I wish I had soaked it up a little bit more or been more thoughtful to let her know that I loved her dearly.
I remember the last Christmas. She told both my mom and me to choose a piece of her jewelry as our gift that year. It was so sweet of her, and we enjoyed talking about some of her jewelry pieces with her.
She knew that Handsome and I were engaged before she passed away... and I think she was looking forward to our wedding and was happy for us to be getting married. While she only met him once, I think she liked him and the stories my mother and I had shared with her about him. Sometimes, too, I wish they had had more time together, because she was so very important to me and because he is so very important to me. That I hadn't been so slow to introduce them, so that maybe he would understand a little more of who I am because of her, and that maybe she would have just known a little more about the man with whom I will share my life.
I miss her. And I'm honestly not sure I ever finished grieving. I said that to the husband in the fall, and I don't think he quite understood me, but I've been very irritable the last few days and I think this might be part of the reason why. I didn't really let myself cry much. And I'm not sure I really know how one grieves, but I suppose time heals pain, or more accurately, that the Lord heals us and sometimes it takes some time. This is not to say that I won't still feel a twinge of hurt for years to come when I think that she missed my wedding and will miss both my brothers and my graduation from college and graduate school, respectively, and someday maybe his wedding, and my children, her great grandchildren, but I also can't focus on this because we were so blessed to have been able to share so much of our lives with her. And she lived a long, very full life.
And I rest knowing that she loved the Lord and soaked in the His Word all through the last years of her life. She was blind, you see, so she continually had messages from Christian broadcasters on her radio, or listened to books on tape--including the first two of the Mark of the Lion trilogy--which we shared a love for. Everytime, almost, that I went to see her she was listening to some teacher of the word, or to some music worshipping God. It was encouraging to me to finish the race.
It is amazing how big our God is that he brings us together, to one another. That He puts people in our lives and that we have something common in knowing Him. Through generations of time and very different life circumstances, there is still the common thread of His work and His story and His plan. I'm thankful we, my grandmother and I, shared Him. And I'm thankful that He is so much bigger than any one of us, or any one of our lives, and that there is this common thing among Christians, that transcends generations, centuries, and time.
Oh how I miss her, but oh how thankful I am that I knew her and had her in my life.