Remembering the ones we love

My grandmother passed away from cancer today at 10:15am.  They are not sure what kind because she refused a biopsy that would determine its type.  The cancer had aggressively spread throughout her body.  There were tumors in her liver, kidneys, and who knows where else.  She was terminal; and only lived about a month after the initial diagnosis.  The cancer had probably been there some time before that.

It’s hard to lose someone you love.  My grandmother had always been a part of my life.  She loved me and I loved her.  When I was young we didn’t have much money; but my brother and I would go to visit my grandparents for the weekend on mini vacations.  We would go to “Chuck E Cheese’s” and play the games (I loved it there but I’m not sure why–the food is horrible!).  We would wrestle with grandpa.  We would watch movies and get our hair cut.  It was great fun.  I have a hard time envisioning life without her;  to think that she won’t visit us every summer or that there will be no more christmas’ with her there.

It bothers me that she won’t be there at my wedding.  She won’t get to meet my wife and my kids won’t know who she was.  I’ll miss her.

She lived a good life.  She loved the Lord and instilled a passion for Christ in her children and grandchildren.  Of 3 kids and 12 grandchildren every single one loves God and worships Him.  I cannot think of a greater tribute to her legacy than that.

Both my grandparents regularly attended church and were very active with the local body.  For several years they lived at a children’s home in Phoenix, AZ called Sunshine Acres.  They took care of the children that no one else wanted.  They loved them and taught them to love the Lord–it’s what God called them to do.

She was a strong willed woman.  I remember stories of how she would sometimes sell the family television when my dad was growing up because she thought they didn’t need it.  My grandpa would get so mad!  But never for too long because he knew that it meant that eventually he would get a new one; and it would be better than the one they had before.

She was a popular woman; although I don’t think she really knew it.  When she wanted to be, she was very charming.  She could make anyone like her!  She was a good conversationalist and could always tell a good story.  She had a way of keeping the audience engaged.

The week before she died I flew into Lubbock and spent the days with her.  My dad, mom and youngest brother, Meshach, came too.  It was a good time.  It was nice to be able to serve her by getting her watermelon when she craved it, brining her cokes and all the other little things that she happened to fancy.  She talked a lot with us; about all sorts of things.  Telling us stories of her childhood and other good memories in her life.

She told us that her most vivid memory from childhood was when she was about 7 years old.  She grew up in Michigan and her family had 2 cherry trees right by the drive way.  She liked to climb the trees and hang upside down from the branches.  Apparently, her parents weren’t too fond of this.  They told her not to climb the tree anymore; but, often as kids do, she didn’t listen.  I guess she didn’t know how to get down on her own when she was hanging.  So her parents decided to teach her a lesson when they saw that she had disobeyed them and climbed the cherry tree.  As she was hanging from it they told her that they were going shopping and would be back soon.  After they left she got to thinking and began to fear that they were never coming back.  It seemed as if she would never get down from that tree and would starve to death or fall cracking her head on the ground below.  Well as she hung there worrying, she saw one of her neighbors walking down the street.  She called out to him asking for his help.  This particular neighbor was a very tall man and seemed particularly scary to her.  He asked her where her parents were and why they couldn’t help her down.  After she had explained the situation to him, he told her that he shouldn’t interfere and started to walk away.  He took several steps and then came back and helped her down.  Those few moments when she thought he was walking away seemed like an eternity.  Needless to say, she never climbed the cherry tree again.  It’s funny what people remember.

It’s hard to say goodbye to the ones we love.  But with the Lord we know that in time we will see them again.  I love my grandma and I know she is in a better place now.  She loved the Lord her whole life, and it ended well.  We should celebrate that and know that while the sorrow will last for a time; this too shall pass.

“Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
The children of your servants shall dwell secure;
their offspring shall be established before you.” – Psalm 102:25-28