Thursday, November 27, 2008

to grandmother's house we go

Psalm 23 (NLT)
The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

my last living grandparent died today. my dad's mother, my grandmother, left this world and was reunited with her creator early this morning. at 92 years old, she's had slowing health for several years, but more serious heart issues the past 6 months. and as we prepared for our trip to maryland for thanksgiving, my dad prepared me for the possibility of her death. I was prepared with the "thought" of it, but the reality of her not being at the dinner table tonight for the first thanksgiving in my 40 years was a different story.

when someone dies, I always feel that life should S T O P for the day. somehow continuing to go on with the daily routines and responsibilities just doesn't seem right. but today that's exactly what we all did. the boys gathered out in the lawn for the scheduled flag football game, my aunt prepared and served an out of this world delicious meal; 25 of our family and friends gathered to be thankful together; there were a few tears, but also good stories about grandmother; and there were plenty of us thinking about her and her impact on our lives.

Thanksgiving has always been a special holiday for me. when I was a child, we spent every Thanksgiving in maryland at my grandmother's house. we traveled from "the city" to "the country" for a few days. and even though many hours separated me from my father's side of the family, it only took a few minutes for us to be reacquainted and enjoying a life far different than our own. as an adult, we now visit every other year as we alternate holidays with mark's family. and now my family (mark, spencer, connor) eagerly anticipates the pilgrimage to grandmother's house for Thanksgiving.

now that grandmother is gone, will things be different? will we still come home for Thanksgiving? even my grandmother, in her final days, had concerns about her son and his family coming "back home" for Thanksgiving once she had passed. how did she know? how well does she know her children?

my grandmother was:
strong/ hardworking/ creative/ a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend/a gardener of flowers and vegetables/ a quilter/ a reader of books/ a believer in Christ Jesus/ a traveler/ loving/ caring/ a card player/ a master at scrabble/ lover of sea shells/ honest

I have no idea how many quilts my grandmother personally handmade (hundreds). or how many quilt club projects have her precise stitches included in them (hundreds). but let's just say there was always a project being quilted, always fabric being sewn together on her sewing machine, and always at least five finished quilts in her closet at the ready for gifts. her many quilts in our home will now take on an even more special meaning as our family quilter is now gone.

"mom, I'm sorry your grandma died. are you sad?" unsolicited words from my tender hearted 5 year old during a quiet bedtime moment. thanks for touching his little heart to comfort me, God.

so I don't say goodbye tonight, I say "see you later", grandmother. for I know I will see you again in heaven when I am reunited with my heavenly Father and all those who believed in Him that have gone before me.


Sarah S. said...

I am so sorry! My prayers are with your family.

stitching under oaks said...

I'll be praying for you as you make your re-entry into the business of life and the holiday season. My love to you and your family as you continue to miss your grandmother.