Three years ago today, my grandmother fell asleep in her bed and awoke standing before the throne of grace. Shortly after, I penned a list of things that I will forever miss.
-the Monday arrival of the ‘survival’ care package which always consisted of 1. paper plates 2. a huge vat of ketchup 3. a couple of penne pollos (smart ones) 4. a bottle of ranch dressing 5. something for Graceann to cook (muffins, cookie dough, brownies, etc.)
-the $50 or so she’d slip me occasionally, always accompanied by one of three phrases – “if you wanna blow it all on bubble gum, then that’s fine” or “take your little family out to dinner” or “well, you can’t take it with you”.
-our Sunday phone call chats.
-our Monday talks about how our church services went.
-lunch out on Monday, I’ll especially miss Applebee’s as she was the only person that genuinely enjoyed that restaurant as much as I do.
-the way she always tore the little one’s hamburgers into bite size pieces.
-her thoughtfulness in always feeding Mollie the leftovers after lunch.
-her cleaning off the table after everyone was done, while I finished up my lunch.
-her sitting in the rocking chair holding the newest baby.
-laughing with her – usually over something that grandpa said or did.
-seeing her little red car pull in and the feeling of profound relief, gratitude and security that would go along with it.
-hugging her bony frame, the feel of her stiff hair and her smell.
-hearing her say, “Let me have the baby and you go get whatever you need to get done.”
-her encouragement and unfailing belief in me.
-her hamburgers and zesty fries.
-hearing her sing all the old hymns to the little ones.
-all the idle times filled with so much precious conversation.
-her fast driving and near misses.
-our lunch runs (Long John Silvers, Wendys, KFC, Taco Bell).
-shopping with her – that’s an old memory, but still so precious!
-her account of lying in the bed and envisioning each child before she went to sleep; she’d try to decide on a favorite, but said she couldn’t because each one was special in their own way.
-hiding Christmas presents at her house from our children, her annual Christmas dinner of KFC and her fudge.
-her lilac and hydrangea bush bouquets.
-her familiar form in the rocking chair.
-her greeting of “Hey, hey!” or the door bell ringing several times in a row. Sometimes she’d say, “Anybody home?” and then just come on in. This didn’t happen often however, due to the children’s vigilant watch and subsequent greeting of running out to the car and overcoming her with their hugs and squeals for candy (hershey kisses and little reese cups).
-her home on Crews Drive.
-the way the china would rattle in the hutch when you walked through the dining room at her house.
-having lunch in her basement.
-the way the phone would ring when she called (we assigned a ring-tone to her number).
-her love and support of our family, I especially miss all the prayers that went up on our behalf.
-debating over Scripture and our interpretation of different things; I’m grateful for her conclusion that Jesus was her Savior and all that really mattered was Him and His death of atonement for her. She’d always tear up and say, “I’m ready.”.
Monday, May 14th, 2007, she came over to the house to keep Micah (8weeks) and Ryle (2 years old at the time) while I went out for lunch with a few ladies – something I rarely got to do. She spent her last full day on this earth caring for the precious little ones that she loved so very much. She gave Micah a bottle, she changed a dirty diaper on Ryle – doing what she had done hundreds if not thousands of times before. She wasn’t there to criticize – she was there to support and to serve in whatever capacity she was needed. That’s it. She was just there to be a help, a confidant, and a friend. After she left our house, she went home. And then, later that night, shortly after midnight, she went Home.