It’s been a while. Between travel for the holidays and trying to cram every American thing I wanted to do in and resting and visiting, there wasn’t much time for blogging. And then I came back to Mexico and was in the middle of settling in and getting comfortable with a new semester. Coming back was easier than I expected and it was good to see my kids and get back into the routine. Mexico was feeling more like home.
And then last Tuesday I got a “Call as soon as you get home” email at the end of the school day and it hit me like a brick wall that I am still thousands of miles and an international border away from everyone I love. I don’t think anyone was ready for my Grandma to leave the world just three long months after her husband of 65 years. No one, that is, except maybe Grandma herself.
When you love your Jesus and you love your husband and they’re both in the same place, I think it’s probably a little easier to let go of the fight.
My grandmother, for as long as I can remember, has been so full. Full of life, full of love, full of activities and with a full voice and full of fight. She sang soprano in the church choir and hollered full through the house (and through the telephone line) to get the whole huge family together for Thanksgiving dinner. She volunteered in more organizations than I can name, from League of Women Voters to Stephen Ministers. She was political and intelligent and a stay at home mom. She worked out three times a week at the retirement home where they lived. She loved to travel and she loved to host and she loved her family. She was honest and funny and crinkled her nose when she laughed. She wore the biggest earrings I have ever seen and she wrote cards for every occasion. I am almost certain I have received a Halloween card every year of my life from my grandmother.
I think, for Grandma, writing cards was her love language. She loved to show us she loved us by finding something witty or sweet and writing a few personal words inside. Going through her house after she passed, we found drawers and drawers of cards, sorted by theme, from Valentine’s Day to Sympathies. It was like a card store with no duplicates, hand picked by my grandmother. She was so intentional.
She chose the scriptures we would read and her funeral, and I read Psalm 92, which ends with:
In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap, showing that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
I cannot describe my grandmother better than that. Even in old age, still producing fruit to show that the Lord was her rock.
There was a lot of talk of legacy as we celebrated her life last weekend. I think Grandma’s most impressive legacy is the fullness of life that was in her, the fullness that she poured into everyone she met. I pray that we can remember the fullness and not dwell on the emptiness of her loss, that we can be filled to fill others. What a legacy that would be.