Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Still There

Betty Miner was my Grannie

It's been awhile since I've written about her.  It's been awhile since I have been caught off guard by her absence.  The truth is that sometimes, in a rare moment, the pain of her passing is still as prominent as the day she died.

My grandmother has been gone almost 7 months, but her name continually escapes my youngest daughter's lips.  The other day, I was looking for a picture of the beach for my new blog button.  Hannah walked up behind me and said, Oh no.  I don't want to see any pictures of Grannie.  It will make me cry.  Yeah, she's four.

Today, I sat on the couch with my Bible and Priscilla Shirer's One in a Million. I was lamenting to God that sometimes motherhood is just so hard.  I was specifically thinking about the energy level required to keep my kids entertained, loved, fed, etc AND do everything else.  My thoughts turned to my grandmother because she was always the one that I would call when I started to feel overwhelmed.  I could hear her sweet voice resonating in my head, the one that I grew up listening to, not the scratchy, almost non-existent one that the cancer treatment gave her.  I could hear her say, Honey, you are doing the best you can.  I just can't get over how much you do.  You have two beautiful girls -- you must be doing something right.  Honestly, she lived over a thousand miles away, so she didn't know day-to-day how much I messed up, but that didn't matter.  She saw my heart and my intentions.  She focused on the good when all I could pay attention to was my mistakes and my failures.  God used her more times than I can count to lift up out of my own, self-dug pit.

Perhaps all of this is so fresh because today in our paper was a special pink section (yes, the newsprint was actually pink!) about the upcoming Race for the Cure.  Last year I ran it in honor of my grandmother, who did survive breast cancer years ago.  This year, I'm not running the race, but I thought that if I was, I would not be pounding the pavement in her honor, but in her memory.  For although she overcame breast cancer, God used the metastasized lung cancer to call her home.  Even though I can feel her these days and can rejoice, honestly rejoice that she is at home with Jesus, 7 months down the road of saying good-bye, I'm still sad, maybe a bit angry, that she is gone.  She was just so much of everything I needed and many times, a tangible example of Jesus to me.  It's just hard to let it go.

I don't daily drown in this grief like I am doing now, but I have found if I don't just let the wave pass over me, lift me off my feet for a moment, and submerge me for a few seconds, I end up harboring the feelings that, if left in darkness, will grow into something overpowering.  The wave comes, it pulls me under.  And then, it passes, and I find my feet on the packed sand once more. 

I write about this for my own sanity, but also to perhaps give credence to those in their own journey with losing something so precious.  You don't have to be over by now.  You don't have to meet everyone's expectations and deal with it as others think you should.  You have freedom to work out your questions, to seek answers, to sometimes be restless with the pat responses, and even scripture.  God welcomes your thoughts, He welcomes your heart, no matter what state it is in.  You don't have to censor what you say to Him -- He knows it anyway.  Nothing you say will change the Truth  -- He still is our ultimate Comforter, the Prince of Peace, the Author of our salvation.

May waves of peace cascade of you, ones even more powerful than the waves of grief.
Doesn't she look fun?
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
Dr. Suess

Interested in finding out more about the new Finding Heaven community that is starting up on Tuesday?  If so, just leave me a comment on "A New Community" Post.  Hope to see you there!


  1. O, darlin'...I can so relate to your missing your grandmother...only it's my mom that I miss so much. As you may know, I am olden..will be 73 in December, but you never get too old to miss your mom. She has been gone 22 yrs and sometimes, not too often, tho.., I just burst out crying for her. I just miss her ...and how I would love to introduce her to my grands, and visa versa.
    It DOES get better with time..this I can promise you. But you will never forget her, never quit thinking of her and we wouldn't want to. She was a very blessed woman to have someone like you love her so much.
    love and hugs, bj

  2. o, and your FOLLOW ME thingy is working just fine this morning...:)))

  3. Hi Jenn,

    Ok...crying here :) Good tears.

    Your Grandma may have been far away enough that she didn't see the day to day, but you're right, she saw your heart. And I think that she was a very wise woman and just "knew" you were doing a great job, because you ARE.

    I held the hand of one of my very dear friends just over 2 years ago as breast cancer stole her life and she slipped into Eternity. It still hurts deeply. Loss of those we love is huge. But He is our comforter and He brings us peace. Right after she died her daughter and I did the 3 day in her honor in Seattle. It was amazing.

    Lifting you up in prayer,


  4. Grief is so like just hits out of no where. Praying for you...right now. Love!

  5. I needed this today. I needed to know I was not alone and that it was okay to feel what I feel sometimes...and to question Why and to ask God all kinds of other questions. I struggled on Monday of this I spent the day with my niece who at 10 days old lost one of the best people in her life...and she does not know that....and I think of my Memaw and the joy she would have gotten from seeing Toccoa grow.

    Oh dear. Must stop. Tears come quickly this week.

    Thanks for sharing this Jennifer. It's good to know I am not alone on this journey...and while ours may be different we still share that common thread of loss.

    Much love and prayers coming your way.


  6. Jenn, it would seem that you've touched many with your post..including me. When hubby and I were driving back from seeing Maya this afternoon I was commenting abt the beautiful clouds in the sky....all different shades of grey w/some blue sky peaking thru...I said to hubby that I think I've noticed them even more since my dad left six months ago....he asked why....I thot it was because I know my dad is 'up there'...obviously not in the clouds...much higher...but I don't know..just makes me feel closer...weird I know. I said to hubby that I never realized just how much I was going to miss my dad...until he was gone...I knew I would...just didn't dream it would be so much. Thanks for the post and thanks for stopping by.

  7. No, you don't have to be over it now. Prayed for you tonight, and yes, she looks amazingly fun.

  8. Jen, I can relate just a little bit - I have the same kind of relationship with my 84 year old grandmother. I am always amazed at how quickly she remembers what it's like to have young children (she had four kids very close in age!) and is always saying the same things to me that your sweet grannie said to you. "I don't know how you do it." "They are sweet and beautiful well-mannered - you must be doing something right!" Her reassurance is so soothing to this much younger soul and yet I feel for the first time, I am learning about my grandmother as a woman and not just a grandmother.

    The difference is that my Meemo is still alive. But I can only imagine the grief I will feel when that day occurs.

    Prayers for your pain and sadness. You will never be "over it." You will just adjust to a new normal and be able to laugh a little more about her than you do now.

    And yes, she looks like she was a hoot...

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire

  9. Jen, you are always so raw and honest with your writing. It inspires my own writing. I love how you said that you wouldn't run for her "honour" but in her memory. What an amazing woman to have as a mentor in your life.


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