Sunday, July 7, 2013

Called Home

I didn't get your last phone call.  I was too busy doing Heaven only knows what.  Life does that. It keeps you busy.  People will always tell you, mostly the older generation, that you need to slow down and stop and enjoy the simple things in life.  They are right.  I think it comes from a better understanding of what is truly important.  Because I missed that phone call.  The one that may have only taken a couple of minutes.  I didn't get to hear your voice for the last time.  I didn't get to say, "I love you grandma," for the last time. 

You came into this world a chubby little blond haired baby on September 22, 1941.  You grew up like most kids in the depression, without much, but from the pictures we sifted through for hours and hours yesterday, you looked happy.  I think having siblings helped.  I saw you as a teenager in the 50's, a radiant beauty in the 60's, a bustling mom in the 70's, a proud grandma in the 80's, and a woman who enjoyed her life, her way, through out the decades. 

Grandma, I have a hundred stories fighting over themselves begging to be put down on this virtual piece of paper, through this medium you cared little about.  You hated technology. Everything to do with it.  Truth...we are so much alike in that area.  But, sometimes you just have to roll with it.  I think you would have appreciated it more years and years ago.  Thank goodness there aren't any VCR's in Heaven that need programmed!  Ha! 

There's a picture of you, the one that comes to my mind time and time again.  It is when we were all still living at the lake.  You were standing in the doorway between the two bedrooms, the one to your craft room and the guest bedroom.  The sun was coming in ever so softly through the big window and your hair (at this time a caramel color...hehehe) was shining like a halo was around it and your smile, your beautiful smile, was spread across your face.  This picture of you.  This is the one I see each time I close my eyes.  It is the one I saw in my mind's eye the minute I received the news that you were called home.  This is the one I see now as I type this letter to you.  It's funny how, when at that precise moment children finally "see" someone for the first time, they etch that picture in their head.  I'd give almost anything to know where that picture is today.  I captured it on film.  I was always playing with your cameras.  Always.  I hope I can find it. 

I hate that a couple hundred miles kept us apart so much over the years.  I hate that I didn't drive to see you more than I did.  Chicago really isn't that far away from here and gas money, well, something else could have always been given up.  Something.  But that is the thing about after the fact.  It's view is always the better one. Yet, I know I can't get one more hug.  I can't get one more kiss.  I can't get one more "I Love You".  But what I can get, and what I do have, are a memory bank full of things about you.  I'm going to keep these thoughts in my mind.  The ones I do have, not the ones I won't get.  That is what you would have told me to do. 

And in all of this.  All of this sorrow and pain and grief.  All of these tears.  I know you'd be standing beside me holding out Kleenex encouraging me to let it out.  Then you'd wrap your arms around me and cry with me.  You always gave, grandma.  You gave and gave and gave.  (Even when it was stuff people didn't want!)  Your heart was so amazingly beautiful.  You loved with your whole being not caring what anyone thought.  You just loved.  You thought of yourself last as long as the other person knew you were thinking of them and caring for them and loving them.  I think this is the part of you that I am the most like. 

Jesus called you home on July 5, 2013.  And I know with all my heart, you are singing, radiantly, with all the others before you that were called home, to Jesus.  I know that he has given you a new, healthy, vibrant body.  One free from sickness and pain and ailment.  I know that you are in our Savior's hands for the rest of eternity, because if there is only one thing I know, Jesus was your Lord and Savior and you wanted nothing more than to sit at his feet.  I can't wait to see you again and I know that one day, one day, I will.  And together, we will both sing to Jesus.

Here's the song you sang to me all the time when I was little - What A Friend We Have In Jesus

May your beauty light up the Heavens as you sing to Jesus.
I love you grandma.  And I miss you so much.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Mandy, I have such wonderful memories of your grandma. Remember when she made me that pink jumpsuit that was similar to one she had made for you? I loved that thing and wore it all. the. time. I still laugh when I see how many pictures I'm wearing it in (I think we were probably in about 7th grade).
    She was a delight. Always making things so cozy for us. Movies, food, kind words. She truly was a treasure.
    God bless you.