Her voice would ring out into the wind, finding him almost anywhere…”Walter!” It wasn’t a shout, but more like a high-pitch, loud sing…”Walter!” He would look up from his garden, and although he was almost completely deaf. He heard her.
My grandma; A one-of-a-kind lady.
She passed away today. Today. We knew it was coming after a massive stroke overcame her last week and left her paralyzed and lifeless. Lifeless but alive. And it was only a matter of time.
I’ll never forget my grandma’s smile. Always ready for a tight hug. Her aroma was coffee. Growing up she would call to let us know all the things she was up to. Baking for a church picnic. Making meals for the widow down the street. Working at MCC. Serving at the gleaners. Busy, busy, busy doing the Lord’s work.
And she loved to travel. From Hawaii to the Ukraine, she was a lady on the go.
She gave the most interesting gifts. It was always a joy receiving them, because you literally couldn’t even imagine what it would be. What you did know though was that the gift was most certainly purchased from good ol’ MCC. One time for my birthday, she got me a silver and scuffed Christmas ball ornament that chirped at random like a bird. Another time I opened the box to find nothing inside. The box was the gift.
I actually used that box and smiled every time I opened it. I also loved that chirping ornament because it screamed of my grandma and her unpredictable and yet predictable gift giving ideas.
Being a Mennonite lady, my grandma was a whiz in the kitchen. She always had homemade buns and desserts on hand. Her meals were always filling and delicious. I especially loved her stew.
I hope to resemble just an ounce (okay more than an ounce) of her willingness and ability to serve, serve, serve as she did. She was a need meeter. Helping her neighbors, church, friends and family with her willing service. Whatever she could do, she’d do it.
My grandma and grandpa were married for 69 years. Can you imagine?
Their marriage was far from perfect, but the example of a steadfast and enduring commitment to love is unmatched in my life. I desire so much for this same kind of legacy for my own children.
On Saturday I had the blessing of being by her bed side. I watched in heart-wrenching joy and sorrow as my grandpa poured his love and devotion on her in heavy waves. He told her he loved her. He told her she was beautiful and still looked so young in his eyes. He concerned himself with her proper care and worried about her eating. He begged her to smile and when she tried, he welled up with tears. Over and over again he told her about God’s love and how he was sorry he couldn’t help her anymore, but that God would.
I was overcome.
Till the very end he protected her. He showered her with the deep well of his affection. And I can’t think of a better way to go then with my beloved husband by my side.
We now begin the prep for a funeral. One that I will be singing at, as that was a request in her Will (Why? I will never know). But I thank the Lord for my grandma. And I thank Him all the more that His grace covers us, and that in His good timing, He brings us home.
Betty is home.
“When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart. Then I shall bow, in humble adoration, And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!” ~ How Great Thou Art (hymn)