Thursday, October 31, 2013

On loss and recovery

My family was blessed to have my Grandma B' live with us for a few months last summer while we helped cared for her. It was a great blessing for my children to visit with her, to share in caring for her, to feel of her strong faith and testimony in God, to hear of her wonderful life experiences, to see the many people who also cared for her (and helped with her care) come in and out of our home. To notice how gracious she was when company came, even when she was tired.

I enjoyed the nightly ritual of rubbing her back, neck, shoulders, and feet and hands and arms as we'd discuss the day and always she'd be so appreciative. My Grandma wasn't an angel, but she was as close to one as I'll ever meet--the milky white skin and hair didn't hurt that impression. Every once in awhile we'd talk about foibles and how frustrating they are, but we'd always bring the conversation around to the positive. I don't remember my Grandma saying some of the things other people do, but I remember her talking about if we all put our troubles in a bag and hung them on a line and had a chance to run for them, we'd all run for our own bag. It's all in what you know. I only wish I'd been in less physical pain so I'd had more quality time with her.

Looking back, I realize now what a gift I had in those three months, my whole life, really. Grandma was so good at loving everyone and making each person feel like her favorite. What a legacy she has left. The Friday before she passed, she was still trying to tell me that she hadn't done anything remarkable in life, nothing worth remembering, but of course besides all of the big things (of which there are many), there are oh so many, innumerable--cliche as it may be--as the sands of the sea, small things. Grandma you are the glue that brings this family together. I love you, Grandma.

I suppose after all these years apart, it's someone else's turn to be your favorite.


Emily said...

Such a touching story and what a beautiful picture of her as a young woman.

Alisha said...

amen. this line was my favorite: "Grandma was so good at loving everyone and making each person feel like her favorite." i was impressed at her funeral, how many spouses of us cousins were moved to tears over grandma's passing. i hardly knew some of there people, but they knew grandma and she loved them.
i miss her so much.

Tebbs Family said...

What a beautiful woman--inside AND out! Now you know where you get your great genes from :)

Holly said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother! I'm glad you had those moments with her.