Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Letter to My Grandma

November 23, 2008
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Dear Grandma,
The last time I saw you was so bittersweet. You are dearly missed here, though it would be selfish to wish you back to this world of pain and suffering. This week it was hard not to receive the annual letter you would always send full of news which you would always wrap up with love, encouragement and affirmation. These letters have meant so much to me, especially in recent years.

I want you to know what a blessing you were to me and although I expressed this to you in your living years, I wish I would have mentioned it more often. I am so thankful for the privilege of growing up just one mile away from you, less if we walked through the corn field. I'm thankful for your amazing example of faith in God alone, of diligence, consistency and hard work, of living sensibly and resourcefully, of always having time to serve and support your family. I remember days spent at your home, in the house helping you in the kitchen while listening to Focus on the Family or Chuck Swindoll, and outside working on your many flowers or in your productive garden. I also remember once not wanting to do dishes or some other kitchen task at your house and having you tell me "A job's half done once it's begun." It is funny the things which stick in my memory, though that phrase has served me well. Some days I still don't want to do the dishes. :)Too, I remember being at your home in the evening and cuddling up with you and Grandpa along with my sister and brothers on the couch eating apples and oranges and popcorn. And staying overnight in your home and feeling that that was a special time. I remember you being a listener for Awana and wanting to make you proud by reciting my verses well. I remember getting to sit with you in church sometimes and Grandpa sharing his Certs with me. But most of all, I just remember you always being there.

You were such a good grandma, never spoiling (that I remember, but you probably did) but always showing that we were important to you and that we were loved, not because of the stuff you gave us, but because of the love in action and encouragement and wise instruction. Thank you for the letters you sent every year for my birthday. I enjoyed them so much as you told the happenings there like it was with a little opinion thrown in sometimes for good measure. I've saved most of those letters and will treasure them. I was so proud to be your granddaughter as your eulogy was given. Many of those stories from your younger days I had not heard. There are so many from your life which went untold, but that isn't surprising since I never heard you say a boastful word. It wasn't like you to bring attention to yourself. And yet that day in August I learned from you, even though you had departed. Your resourcefulness and your steadfast and pioneering spirit inspire me. I wish I would have asked you to tell those stories more. I wish I would have lived near you in my adult years and learned your secrets of growing delicious and prolific tomatoes and asked you deeper questions about your faith in your 80 years of life and asked you for advice in rearing children in the ways of the Lord. I wish...

What I really wish, albeit selfishly, is that you would be sitting with us around the table this week as we gather to reflect on God's goodness and give Him the praise and thanks. I'm so glad I could see you on your two final days on this earth and that I had the opportunity to say good-bye, but this grief is not easy. It comes in waves and is triggered out of the blue...when I hear the song Jenn sang at your funeral on the radio, when I received a birthday card from another grandma with something written that you would have written to me and in similar handwriting to yours, when my two older children talk about you being in Heaven, and when they express that they want to put flowers on your grave when we head out next, and countless other things. It is very hard, because you are so dearly loved and because I knew you into adulthood, which is something I certainly don't take for granted.

My life was forever changed because of you! I love you, Grandma! God is always good and He ordained the number of your days, and I find comfort in that. I'll see you in Heaven, where there is no more pain, no more suffering, no more crying, no more grieving.

Much love,


Mom2Drew said...

I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E. I can't say anything!

Stephanie said...


I just stumbled upon this in a search for your post about making yogurt. It is so well written and very reflective of Grandma. I really miss her... and Grandpa too.