Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bittersweet

My grandmother, my mother's mother, passed away last Tuesday morning.  She was the first of my four grandparents to leave this world.


Later that afternoon, I sat outside on one of our swings.  Sadie was pushing Miriam in the baby swing and Sam was swinging beside me.  It was a beautiful day despite our loss.  The birds were singing, there was a light breeze, and the afternoon sun shone through the leaves above us.  I could even smell honeysuckle sitting there.  I wondered if my Grammie, when she was on the verge of 35 years old, ever paused and thought about how maybe one day her on-the-verge-of 35 year old granddaughter might be sitting outside wondering about her at that age.  Of course this made me wonder if a granddaughter of mine will one day be sitting on a swing outside with her kids thinking about my passing.

For some reason, thinking of my Grammie as a young-ish adult moved me deeply.  She wasn't always my grandmother, of course.  She was once a mother of young children who hung her wash out to dry, canned vegetables from her garden, and loved sharing food with friends and family.

To my Grammie, I am sure that life from 35 to 88 went by quickly. We think we have years and years ahead of us.  Most of us do, but they are fast years.  We fill them up with busyness- usually good busyness.  But often pointless.  When I'm at the end of my life, if I can see it coming, I'm sure I will have some regrets.   Is there any way I can predict those regrets and make adjustments now?  Are those nagging thoughts that creep into my mind my way of trying to re-adjust my habits?  You know, the twinge of guilt or unsettledness you feel at times when you're doing something you know may not be contributing to the improvement of your life or the lives around you.

Death makes me think about life.

I may never know how my Grammie felt during her last days as she reflected on her life.  From my perspective, she lead a stellar life.  It's hard to imagine her regretting anything.  But, no one is perfect.  I imagine she was at peace in the end.  Her faith was strong.

Thankfully, faith can move mountains.  Even mountains of regret.

I do know that my Grammie believed in God and because of her words, her deeds, and her faith, there is no doubt in my mind that she is basking in her heavenly Father's light and love.  She is whole.  She is complete.  She now prays for this family of ours with new authority and power.  And we thought she was our prayer warrior when she was alive.

For those of us who are Christians, the end goal may seem to be heaven.  It's a wonderful way to end this life full of joys and sorrows, no doubt.  But what is our daily goal?  If our entire life was to be lived in one day, what would we do?  What if we looked at each day as an entire life?  What components would we want to include?  Which would take priority?  Are we living our lives with those priorities in mind?  Would we listen to those nagging thoughts that might actually be from the Holy Spirit?

Or, do we know what we want our lives to be like and then go on and live the way that's convenient, easy, blending into to this world as if we're wearing camouflage?

The thought of my own death doesn't scare me.  The thought of squandering my life away does.  I want to make my heavenly Father proud.  I want Him to call me His good and faithful servant.  I want to fall at His feet knowing that while I wasn't perfect, I did my best to live a life of love and service.

But, not only do I want Him to be proud of me, I want Him to feel loved by me.  Isn't that what we all want?  Who is more worthy of our love and attention?

One day I will run into the arms of my Grammie, hear her voice, look into her eyes and tell her what a Godly inspiration she was for me.  Then, I want to turn my heavenly prayers toward earth and the granddaughter of mine that may be sitting on a swing wondering what I was like at almost 35.  My prayer for her will be that she doesn't squander her days, but instead live her life to holy fullness. Pin It

19 comments:

  1. A wonderful, heartfelt tribute to your Grammie. She was blessed to call you granddaughter. Thinking of your family in your time of loss.

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  2. I'm so sorry about your loss, but look what a legacy she left in you and yours! Great reminders in your post this morning. Peace to you.

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  3. What a beautiful post! I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother passing, but like you said, her faith was strong and she was at peace at the end.

    My priority would be to put my family first - something I'm having a hard time doing with my full-time job. I'm trying to discern if God has a plan for me here, or if He wants me to quit my job and be home.

    I think your sentence about nagging thoughts actually being from the Holy Spirit is now going to nag me :)

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  4. What a beautiful post. Your Grandmother sounds like a wonderful woman! My thoughts are with you and your family at this time oxox

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  5. Sorry to hear about your Grammie...

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  6. What beautiful and inspiring thoughts you shared, thank you.

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  7. Simply beautiful! Thank you for, once again, opening up your heart to us!

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  8. I'm so sorry for your loss, TH...what a beautiful post about your Grammie...and about life...you've got it right, girl. Be there a little extra for your mom...it's hard when our moms lose their moms. xoxox

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  9. Beautiful post! I'm sorry for your loss, but so thankful that you have such faith and assurance that "all is well". What a blessing your Grammie must have been in your life for you to remember her so fondly. You're absolutely right about NOT squandering our lives. Everyday is a blessing and we do need to live it to the fullest with honor...that's how we show our Heavenly Father that we love Him and honor Him. It's good to pause and reflect on the past with so much love. God bless you and your family at this time and God bless your Grammie!
    ~Mary

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  10. Amen. What a beautiful post and tribute to your grandmother. I'm sorry for your loss.

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  11. May the LORD comfort you as only HE can at a time like this. Sending condolences for your earthly loss...how painful that can be! BUT...rejoicing with you that you are sure of her ETERNAL home which is MOST important!

    I appreciate your musings on life and what it means to live it BEST...how true it is that death makes one think about living ~ We all must take stock of the here and now and ask ourselves if we are doing what we OUGHT to. By God's grace and with HIS help we can and will live our lives to the fullest...for HIS glory! What's more important than that??

    Blessings,
    Camille
    Psalm 138:8

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  12. My grandmother, my mother's mother, passed away the Thursday before Easter. She was my last grandparent left. She was also 88 and a believer. Because of her faith and the fact that she died at Easter, it really comforted me to know that I would see her again- probably as a young woman that I had never really known- and that she'd be happy and at home. Well, take comfort in knowing that Retha is in Heaven welcoming your grandmother. I'm sure they'll enjoy each other greatly. You are in my prayers.

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  13. Beautiful.
    You've got me thinking...

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  14. What an incredible tribute to your grandmother. Please know that both you and your family will be in my prayers as mourn the loss and celebrate the life of someone so very special.

    Blessings,
    Lacy Razor

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  15. I'm on the verge of 35 and as much as I know these next 50+ years are going to fly by, I can't imagine where I will be then or having grandchildren of my own. I only have one of my original four grandparents left and I am thankful she is close to my family as she is getting closer to her 92nd birthday.

    I'm thankful you have such a strong faith because it can bring such peace for us when a loved one leaves us. And is so very comforting for our children to see our faith during these more difficult times. Hugs to you as you continue to provide strength and peace for your own family.

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  16. beautifully said :)

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  17. precious memories... thanks for sharing even in this time of loss.

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  18. Wow, you are so blessed to have had four living grandparents this long. I don't think I ever learned to appreciate what a role they played in my life until I was an adult myself. Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys.
    Beck

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  19. I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my Grandmother last year and was never really able to find the words about how I felt until now. This post is a beautiful tribute to someone I am positive was an even more beautiful person. It sounds as if you were truly blessed to have her in your life and I now consider myself blessed for learning a tiny bit about her.

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