We sat at the table looking at pictures..specifically a picture of an 18-year-old beauty. When I commented to that effect, my feisty grandmother scoffed, "I always hated that picture!" I just smiled. One thing Grandma had always been was opinionated. I had taken my two little ones over to her house to fix breakfast for her and my Grandpa. We had finished breakfast, but lingered, just talking, reminiscing over the pictures. And the stories....how I and my kids loved the stories! It wasn't too many days later that my Grandma left this world. Suddenly, with no warning, she was gone.
Just six months before, the suddenness had stricken the first time. Sitting around another table, eating dinner, we got the call that told us that Gram had just a little while to live. My family arrived at the hospital. We held Gram, cried together, and she, in horrible pain, encouraged us not to be sad. Less than a month later, she was gone.
Why am I thinking about my grandmothers? Both of them would have had birthdays this month. Instead, they are celebrating in Heaven. I thought I had more time to learn from them, to love them and to be with them. In the span of 6 months, with little warning in both cases, I lost them both.
I draw from my memory bank to see the most valuable lessons learned. There were many, but the simplest come to my mind as I think about them on this night.
Grandma was always herself--never did she pretend to be anyone else than the down-to-earth, feisty woman she was. She volunteered all the "numbers" in her life---she wasn't afraid to tell one her age or her weight, and she never stopped to worry about what you would think of the numbers.
Gram always made her grandchildren feel loved. We were always greeted and sent off with a hug, and she would tell us often how intelligent, beautiful, talented, etc. we were. We would smile and chalk it up to grandmotherly flattery, but how nice it is to know that someone believes in you and thinks you're the best!
Besides their love for the Lord, I want to carry these two lessons with me and pass them on to my grandchildren:
1. Be the best self I can be with no apology or need for another's approval.
2. Be the fan of my children and grandchildren, so no matter how bad life gets, they know one who is fully "in their corner".
Thank you, Gram! Thank you, Grandma! Your legacy lives on, and although we can't celebrate your birthdays here on this earth again, we look forward to the day when we will celebrate together forever in Heaven! I love you.