Today marks the one-year anniversary of grandma's home-going. I miss her so. Three weeks before she stepped out of her tent-body, I was able to spend the weekend with her. I didn't want to forget any of those precious moments, so I journaled about those few days. It chronicles our smiles, touches, gazes, songs and prayers. Following is an excerpt that describes our last encounter:
September 19, 2010I woke at 6:00 am.
Having sat by her bed till 2:00 am, I may have been able to roll over and go back to sleep, but had I done that and learned from the nurse that grandma had been fitful for whatever reason, I wouldn't have liked that. So, I rose and went to check on her.Her sweet, young nurse, Leah, told me that she had slept very well during the night, and was still sleeping peacefully. She didn’t wake till 9:00 am. I sat by her bed as soon as I saw that her eyes were open, and she immediately pulled her hand out from beneath the covers to hold mine.We just looked at each other, I smiled, she got closer. She began to play with my hair and stroke my face. She is so tender. Finally, I realized that it was getting very close to the time we'd have to leave, so I reminded her that soon I'd have to go. As I told her all the things my heart held, I couldn't help but grow tearful... weepy.She just looked at me with such compassion and lifted her hands to my face, trying to wipe my tears. I pulled it together and we just looked into each other's eyes. Alana was there and said to Grandma, "I'll bet I know what you're thinking, Grandma. You're thinking, 'My precious Pammie.'" Grandma looked at me pointedly and said "pe-sious, Ama." (Precious Pamela-she hasn't been to articulate for several weeks, now)She also took Alana's hand, and Alana quickly discerned that she'd like to pray. She asked her if she'd like me to pray and grandma nodded decidedly. I prayed, thanking God for blessing us so richly with such a precious grandma. One who always lived her life to glorify Him and point her loved ones in His direction. She has provided us with a rich Christian heritage. I asked Him to hold Grandma close, keep her peaceful, and thanked Him for His grace, for today and for what we'll face in the days to come.When I finished, she cupped my face and then proceeded to pull me into a hug. She wrapped her little, frail arms around me and gave me an impressive squeeze, not letting go for a long while. I cried some more and the mere gentle, yet deep love I saw in her eyes was enough to comfort me. Soon, mom came in to tell me we were running late and really had to go.I tried to say what words can't hold; to somehow convey what a treasure she is. I cried some more, as I'm crying now remembering it. She drew me into another hug and I lay across her chest, not wanting to move. I held her little body and didn't want to let go till Jesus carried her into eternity. That not being possible, I kissed her cheek and stood. I caressed her face, kissed her hand, held her gaze. I couldn't leave.Finally, I had to tear myself away. It's one of the hardest things I've ever done.
As much as I miss her, I have joy in knowing she is reveling in the presence of His glory. Praise Him.
I am thankful today for the hope that comes with salvation and for the mighty impact of a grandmother's love.