December 30, 2013

...And a Happy New Year

I went to Grandma's grave today.  Those words are still bitter on my tongue.  Seeing her name carved in the silvery granite like that sent a shiver through my spine, though the sub-zero temperature outside didn't help things either.  The phrase "carved in stone" came to mind, and I was once again struck by the definitive finality of this.  That she's gone.  That she's not here anymore. And she's not coming back.

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I wrote those few sentences almost a month ago when I was home visiting my parents.  My mom and I had stopped by the cemetery while we were out running errands. It shook me so deeply, but when I tried to string words together in an effort to process it all, that was as far as I got.  

The depth and breadth of my grief has continued to take me by complete surprise.  I had known that I loved her deeply and I had known that she had a profound impact on my life.  What I did not anticipate was the incredibly profound impact she would have on my life in her death.  Grappling with the idea of death, losing someone I love, and the fact that - unless Jesus comes back very soon - I will have to continue to say goodbye to those that I love. This grappling rocked me to my very core.

This holiday season has been extremely difficult - being the first without her.  She is so much a part of my holiday memories, it is as though it didn't feel like the holidays without her there: without her beautiful voice calling to sing me "Happy Birthday," without singing carols with her around her piano, without her welcoming hugs and the lingering scent of her perfume, without that twinkle in her eye....

Today, December 30, she would have been 81.  Today, we will raise a glass of Chardonnay (with two ice cubes in it!) in her honor - remembering the incredible woman that she was and the multitude of ways that she so profoundly impacted my (and so many others') life.  Today, I am thankful.  Thankful for the 25+ years that I knew her, thankful that I see bits of her in me, thankful for the woman who brought so much love and music to our family.

As we enter 2014, the first year without her, I pray that our grief would grow to joy, knowing - with as much assurance as we can have here on this earth - that she is ringing in the New Year with greater joy than she has ever known.

Happy Birthday, Grandma!  We love you and miss you more than you could ever know.

Just Us

We will also remind you that this is just a BLOG…just the highlights. We don’t sit around happily smiling for pictures all day long. Our life is far from perfect: we are imperfect people serving a perfect God. We do strive to glorify God, but we fail miserably and find comfort in knowing that our debts have been paid and we have been set free.

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