Wednesday, April 4, 2012

the 2nd year without her

April 3.  Easter Sunday.

Two years ago, they fell on the same day, the day my grandmother finally surrendered, leaving all she had done in this world behind, and went to Heaven to be with Jesus.

I thought it was nice of Him to share His day with her.

I am blessed that I was able to spend 32 years of my life with her.  I am blessed that our relationship was not impacted by the miles that physically separated us.  I am blessed that I can still hear her voice and when all elements line up together, I can still smell her scent.

I am blessed that I get to overhear my youngest tell her friend in a random conversation that her great-grandmother made the best monkey bread.  Then, a few days later, I am blessed again when I hear her telling her friend that her great-grandmother, even though she is no longer alive, can still see her.  Then I get to chuckle to myself as she explains to her friend that God gives her special glasses that enable her to see through the invisible wall that separates our worlds.

Last night, I got to see her in my dream.  Such a rare treat, but I think God must know that I'm really missing her as I prepare myself for His resurrection.  Holy Week two years ago, I grieved in anticipation of her death from cancer alongside of preparing to envision my Savior on His cross.

Hearing the Passion on Sunday and remembering the thin skin that clung to her bones, I repeat to myself that death really stinks.  And I start to get in a funk, I begin to get sad, and I start making monkey bread in her memory.  And this week, I don't wash away the return of grief.  I let myself miss her freely.  I breath in the memories.  I look at old pictures.  I answer the hard questions that crop up from my daughter every year, "Why did she have to die?"  I write on my blog the same things I've written for the last two years about her, but sometimes I just need another catharsis.

But on Sunday, I'll raise my hands in praise because my Savior has risen and this act of dying on the cross and rising again means that my grannie is in Heaven.  She is free from cancer, from hurt, from the burdens this world heaped upon her back.

Death still stinks, but Jesus has overcome death.  And so, I praise Him.

If you so desire, you can scroll down memory lane with me...










36 comments :

  1. I'm sorry to hear the death of your grandmother 2 years ago. But i think it means something special that it happened on Easter. This story brought Tears to my eyes and i ask God to Bless you and to be with you all your days!

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  2. Oh, Jen! My heart aches for you. That picture of her holding that precious pumpkin and clapping while they both laughed is so beautiful. This post makes me want to skip work and drive south to hug on my family.

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  3. Beautiful, beautiful memories. Thanks for sharing. I miss my grandma too, and DREAD the thought of losing my other grandma. By the way, yesterday was the 11 year anniversary of my sister losing her first husband, and she wrote a beautiful post. Here's the link: http://www.paulaschlegel.com/2012/04/memories-found.html

    I think everyone who reads it will truly be blessed. God bless and Happy Resurrection Sunday!!!

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  5. Thinking of you, Jen. Death does stink. Yet, the legacy our loved ones leave behind is so precious and the HOPE we have of seeing them again helps us to focus on the One who has made it all possible!

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  6. I am so incredibly, unbelievably thankful that God is bigger than cancer, death, EVERYTHING. What an awesome hope we have in Him. It's going to be such a joyous reunion :-)

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  7. My grandmother raised me, so looking at your photos makes me sad, but feeling very, very blessed. What wonderful memories!

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  8. Jen, I love your heart. Your relationship with your grandmother sounds so much like mine with my Nene. She is still here and going strong at 80. I cherish every moment, as I know you and your grandmother did together. Thank you for sharing your hurt and your hope. She smiles at you.

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  9. May we all live as your grandmother did...loving passionately and holding tight to GOD's Grace. May we hear, as she surely did, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

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  10. What a beautiful grandma and tribute to her. I love the photos too. You ARE blessed. I never really knew my grandparents and have always been a little envious for those of you who had deep relationships with them. What has this loss taught me? The importance of being a grandma now to my three precious grandchildren and how the value of seeking out friendships with older people. One of my best friends died last year and was 99 1/2 years old. I treasure the memories of her. Thanks for bringing her to my mind and heart today through your love for your grandma.

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  11. Oh JEN I am crying, I love my grandmother also. She raised me and now many miles separate us. I know one day I will have to say goodbye and the thought brings a lump in my throat and tears to my eyes. I love this post how you honnored her! I love all the pictures you shared, what a treasure she is. Your so right death stinks, I am so thankful for the hope of heaven!!!!

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  12. A wonderful tribute, Jen...and thank you for sharing the family photos - we are ALL family, right?

    Blessings on your Holy Week!

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  13. I've read about your journey of grief regarding your grandmother before, but am always amazed at how much you loved her and she you. I never had that great of a relationship with either of my grandmothers and my relationship with my mom was tenuous at times. So your writings about her always confound and bless me at the same time. Praying for you today that you feel Christ's warm embrace as you know that she is in His as well.

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  14. So sorry for your loss. It's okay to be sad. You grieve because you love. May the Father of mercies comfort your afflictions.

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  15. What beautiful memories and such a precious tribute to her.

    blessings to you,
    Alida

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  16. Oh, Jen, I know that ache you speak of. I know the missing so badly and wanting to have just one more minute. My grandmother passed away in June 2006. Her birthday was April 16, so this time of year is difficult for me as well. I used to buy her lilies for her birthday every year. They bloom in her yard now and I cry over them while I take pictures of them so I'll remember. What a lovely tribute to your grandmother. The picture of her laughing and clapping (is that you on her lap?) made me smile.

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  17. What sweet pictures and wonderful memories that you will carry with you until you see her face to face again one day.
    I have a sweet grandmother that is still alive and I pray each day God will keep her here on earth with us for as long as possible. I don't know what life will be like without her sweet words and warm smile in my life.
    Praying for you as you still mourn her loss.

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  18. You know I understand that missing and pain. Praying for you and loving you. The missing is hard but the joy of knowing they are whole and home... it helps too.

    The memories. They remain. The beauty of it. Of her. Of your relationship.

    <3

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  19. Her memory remains alive in you and your children. Blessed is the memory of the righteous...Thank you for all of your support while I've been running things over at Painting Prose. You are always such a great cheerleader!

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  20. What a gift to have had her for so long and to have such wonderful memories and the flip side is the grief...praying that God will continue to hold you close...grateful you can also celebrate her life and memory...Blessings, dear Jen and Happy Easter, early :)

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  21. Oh, thank you for the beautiful glimpse of your granny. Her love for you, your children, Jesus just glows. She is radiant. Can't imagine how she's shining now as she celebrates life in Heaven. I agree. Death stinks. What would we do without Easter?

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  22. What wonderful memories you are so blessed with. I have wonderful memories of my grandmothers as well... I can't wait to see them in Heaven :)

    http://theemptynestexpress.com

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  23. Dear Jen,
    What a lovely tribute to your grandmother! My "Baba" raised me too, was a role model of faith and prayer, passed her love of dance on to me, paid for my medical school education through a wise investment even though she was illiterate, and inspired me to go to medical school and to become a neurologist as I helped to care for her through her slow passing from Alzheimer's when I was 14.
    May He comfort you with the peace that passes all understanding.
    Love in Him,
    Laurie Collett
    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

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  25. My favorite post you've ever written. Made me cry real tears. Thank you for sharing these words and photos. I understand why you miss her so much; she radiates love! Thank You, Jesus, for making a way for us to reunite with our loved ones.

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  26. Beautiful post! Your grandmother must have been one great lady. I'm sure she watches down on you still everyday.

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  27. Oh, the stories you can share about her -- and the legacy she leaves that even your daughters can share it! I love your photos here, too. Just beautiful. Happy Easter, Jen.

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  28. This is so sweet! I started crying. She is with Him now, that is such a wonderful gift!

    Blessings to you and your family in this time of grief.

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  29. Special memories Jen ... a lovely legacy :)

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  30. I am so glad for you that you enjoyed your grandmother for so long. Grandparents are such treasures! I never realized how blessed I was to have grandparents who were an important part of my life for so many years. My dear grandmother passed away three years ago. This year she would have been 100 and like you, I wrote a post in honor of her.

    Your post is a lovely reminder to not only treasure the grandparents in our lives, but to grow into loving matriarchs ourselves. I love the pictures of your daughters with your Gram. How very precious!

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  31. Jen - I have enjoyed (is that the right word?) every single post about your lovely grandmother. And I need to tell you that they inspire me to be a better one. Thank you for that! I would love it if my own grandkids loved and remembered me even half as well as you have done. What a rich legacy - and thanks so much for all the great photos. Yes, death stinks. And yes, death is not all there is. Thank God for Resurrection Sunday!!

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  32. I so agree with Diana. I would be so honored to be remembered like you honor your beautiful grandmother. I don't take being a grandmother lightly. Apparently,, she did not either. What a great example to follow! I know you miss her but will you introduce me to her in heaven? Oh, what a glorious day that will be!

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  33. Love the one of you in the water. Three generations in waves of life. Some we jump and some hit us hard, but He is good and He is alive... "and having overcome death" we follow in His steps.

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  34. Hi Jen, my gran passed away in 1987 and I still miss her. i don't know if she gave her heart to the Lord or not. I was a new Christian myself but I loved her to bits. She was short and fat and baked all the time. She made a huge impression on my life as i can see your gran did. So heart-warming to know you will see her in heaven one day. God bless precious friend and I pray your easter is doubly blessed
    Tracy

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  35. I love those pictures, Jen. What a beautiful lady with such joy in in her face. Love to you as you grieve yet again and rejoice in the midst.

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  36. Oh, Jen, reading your words and seeing your pictures make me miss my grandmother too. She was truly the heart of our family. We were blessed to have her for over 88 years and she has been gone for 8 years and we miss her at every family gathering. It is wonderful to know that we will all be together again some day. He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

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