Monday, January 14, 2013

To Know Her Was To Love Her

 My precious Grana woke up in heaven on Christmas Eve.  She is walking the streets of gold with Jesus, two husbands, a daughter, a brother, and her mom and dad.  Her body has been made perfect and is now able to keep up with her feisty spirit.
She was blessed to live 94 long, healthy years.  She was such a gift to so many people.  To try and describe who she was, the life she lived, and the impact she had on others is impossible.  It's really best put to say "to know her was to love her".
 For 35 years I had the privilege of learning from her, receiving her wisdom and advice, watching her love people, and living a life walking with the Lord. 
 From the time I was little until I was through college, I'd spend a week with her in the summer.  We both liked to stay up late, and every year she'd sit on my bed, scratch my back and tell me stories of my Gramps and Mom and Aunt Debbie when they were growing up.
 Every morning she'd fix breakfast and then we'd go out on the deck.  She'd carry out her coffee and bible and we'd "start the day off right." 
 In every situation she praised God and found the positive in all things.  She was never one to dwell on the negative.
 Grana lived life thinking of others.  She went out of her way to serve and meet the needs of those around her, all in the name of Jesus.  She carried their burdens as if they were own.  She never met a stranger and called everyone she met her friend.
 She taught us that being present and living in the moment was most important.  Housework and chores could wait.  People and relationships were to be treasured.
 She spent her life investing in eternal things like her relationship with Jesus, family, and friends.
 Grana loved to play cards, games, travel, fish, shop, and volunteer.  I remember wondering if she ever got tired because she could outlast me!
 She was not held captive by fear, but embraced life and truly lived each day.
 Mom and Kevin spoke at her funeral and did a beautiful job of putting into words what we were all feeling.  Here is what Kevin read on that day:

It is hard to put into words the impact that My Grandmother has had on my life.  In a world where the term hero is thrown around so loosely it often feels cheesy to use it for real. But in the case of my grandmother no other word will do. She was and will always remain my hero. I had the ultimate privilege to watch her live a remarkable life that was full of life, love and its own share of hardships.

I could tell story after story of how she has impacted my life and my family, how she brought tremendous joy to our lives just by simply knowing her and the countless lessons I have learned by watching her live life.

She taught me that family could exist beyond the branches of a family tree. Someone once said: The Bond that links true family is not one only of blood, but respect and joy in each other’s life. Grana understood that philosophy. She treated people like family and welcomed them to participate in her life.

She showed me that we could always find the positive in every situation,  and showed me how to trust  that God is always in control, even when we feel no one is.  She taught me to never allow room for bitterness.

She showed me that Gods love seems even greater in time of loss and that his peace is real. She was a lady who knew death and loss very well. She could have responded in very different ways to the loss she endured, but she trusted God and leaned heavily on his love and peace during those times. She is a tremendous example of how we should all face death.

I watched her live in the joy of her salvation my entire life. I know that there were very few days if any that she didn’t live in the peace that only comes from a faith rooted in the salvation from Jesus Christ. I am confident it was never far from her mind everyday. Her biggest desire was for all of her family and friends to share in that same faith and to actively live in the joys and peace that can only come through Christ.

She showed me that life is too short to not live it to its fullest. She is a lady that loved and lived life with an energy that at times seemed unnatural for her age, but I am confident it kept her young. She showed me that it was possible for a lady to out fish a man and love to fish just as much as any man. (I am still praying my wife will have that desire someday)

To sum up my Grana’s life I would say she loved life and she lived it well. She didn’t live her life only in the 4 walls of her home, but she lived her life by sharing her love, laughter and sometimes sassiness with her friends and family.

To my Grana,  I would say Thank you and well done. You will be missed greatly, but we celebrate your life. There will be tears, but our joys and memories far outweigh our sadness. Thank you for your love and for how you taught us to live life. 

I've missed her terribly today and caught myself going to the phone to call and talk to her, making sure she was taking care of herself in this bitter cold.  Death certainly has a sting, and it's hard to think that life goes on when someone so important has left this world, but it's not the end.  I will see her again. For now, I will rest in the peace that she's living in total peace and happiness, resting in the fullness of Jesus.


Jen said...

So beautiful, Tammy. What a legacy she has left!

Leslie said...

such a lovely post.
What a remarkable woman. No wonder the women of your family are so strong and admirable. :)