First up, my Granny.
Granny was my dad’s mom. She taught me most about PRAYER. My Granny was a prayer warrior you could say. She would pray for anyone but I know you prayed most for our family. She loved the Lord with every breath in her body & praised him until her passing.
My absolute favorite memories of her revolve around getting married. I have a picture that shows her & me at my wedding rehearsal. Wonder what she was doing…praying over me! She spoke words in that prayer that will forever remain in my heart. They were private & personal & the exact ones I needed to hear as a soon to be bride. She never stopped praying for me. She would make sure to tell me how she kept me in her prayers each time I saw her…which sadly wasn’t enough.
Once I had a conversation with her about prayer. Her health had begun to decline so much that a simple sentence took minutes to complete. He thoughts would drift from near to far. But her heart remained steadfast on Christ. She told me during that conversation that she was struggling with how to pray. She said sometimes she started to pray for someone & then would forget what she said. Then, with tears in both of our eyes, we talked about how God knew the heart of each person & He knew the prayers that we swirling inside her heart.
The last time I talked with her, she was lying in a hospital bed. We both knew this would be the end. She was breathing weaker that night. The monitors screamed her body was failing & yet, she just looked peaceful. She told me how she longed to see her Father. How she could not wait to lay eyes on the face of Jesus & she was ready to go ‘home’. The next time I saw her she would unable to respond to any of us & within a few short hours we would lose the woman who had prayed so much for all of us. I had just left the hospital to come home when my phone rang & I was told she was gone. I pulled over on the side of the road & cried tears of relief & joy & sadness. I rushed back to the hospital where my entire family had gathered. There in her room, as her body lay lifeless & her Spirit had left to find eternity in her ‘Home’ we all sang a song…to a God we knew she loved more than her life & who was welcoming her Home with a huge welcome.
I still have lots of question of what Heaven will be like when arrive there but I feel really confident that when I get there I will see my Granny & will get to spend eternity with her worshipping the same God we both love with every breath we take.
I could not talk about Granny & not talk about my Mom Mom. I know as a kid I called her that but as I grew up I somehow began to call her either Grandmother or Grandma. Thankfully, she responds to all three names.
The thing my Grandmother taught me most about was FORGIVENESS.
I have written before about my grandmother…most recently when I wished her Happy Birthday. It would be easy to read that post & feel that my Grandmother & I had a close relationship as I grew up. That would be far from the truth. I really did not care much for my Grandmother when I was younger. She was strict, she a mix of scheduled (family gatherings) & spontaneous (unannounced visits to our house when my room was not clean!). I remember one time I had to remake my bed because I did not tuck the corners the right way. It took a lot of years to understand that she was simply training us to be good wives & moms. It took even more years to understand that I wanted to be just like her & that I also wavered in the mix of schedule & spontaneous.
When I was a Junior in high school, my parents decided to pull my sister & I out of public school & homeschool us. My sister was thrilled. I was not as much. I knew even then that my Grandmother would not approve. She had been a teacher in the public school system & believed heavily in it. So, with that knowledge, my parents made the choice to simply not tell my grandparents about this new schooling. As always happens, things do all come out eventually. This time because my mother ended up in the hospital & my sister & I, being homeschooled, went to visit during the day. Who happened to be there? My Grandparents. I am pretty sure there was a heated exchange that day in the hospital room but to be honest, I can’t fully remember. What I do remember was the weeks that went by that my mother & grandmother did not talk. But then, my Grandmother did something amazing. She reached out to my mom, wrote a letter extending forgiveness, stating her hurt that she was lied to but wanting to work through it all.
She could have remained bitter. She could have stayed hurt & mad. She could have cut ties with my mom. She didn’t. Instead, she realized that forgiveness was the best option & probably the only option. Through her act of Forgiveness, I gained a Grandmother that supported me through the rest of high school. I learned to love her & treasure her. You know what? She was there, clapping loudly & eyes full of tears, when all three of us graduated high school…as homeschoolers!