Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Time To Grieve

The children were told Saturday morning and we cried with them and held them.

In SC, we met with the funeral home and made cremation arrangements.

The church has been secured for the memorial service in a week and a half.

The obituary has been written and delivered.

Now to deal with my heart that has to accept she is gone.

It has been the Lord's perfect blessing that, since Friday, I have been able to hold the image my Grandmother whole and in Heaven at the front of my mind- like a wall that blinds my view of anything else. This morning, my heart, in all it's aching and sadness, has pushed through that wall and revealed the reality that my Grandmother isn't HERE anymore and I miss her so, so much. The tears won't stop and, for now, I am not going to try to stop them.

Sweet comfort comes in the way of my 7 year old son's arms around my neck and head on my chest. He doesn't know what to say, but he is keeping watchful vigil over me this morning. It is his lack of words that makes his comfort even sweeter- no talking me out of it, no trying to understand it or reason it away, just providing comfort through it.

I'm in good hands.

Thank you for your kind words and prayers.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Grandmother

~Grace Louise Parker April 16, 1925- June 25, 2010~

Beloved wife of Martin, Devoted Mother of four children, Loving Grandmother of six, and Proud Great Grandmother to seven.

My Grandmother was graceful and beautiful. Some of my favorite memories with her are of me sitting on the floor of “Benalee's Coiffure” - the beauty parlor where she had her hair done every Saturday morning for over 25 years and watching her laugh and share stories with the other "usuals". She always seemed so sophisticated to me, even in the later years of her life when her body was failing. I always remember thinking that my Grandmother was so tall, but in hindsight I think it was just her strong character and dignity that gave her a few extra inches in everyone's mind.

Of all the things she modeled for me, and similar to Nathan's Gran who went to Heaven a few years ago, it was her love for her husband that I think has made the largest impact on my life. My Grandfather passed away years before I was born, but I knew him through her. I knew every detail about him through her stories and through her palpable love for that man. He died young and she lived the rest of her life in love with him and him only. She honored him through those stories and through her devotion to his memory all these years. Sometimes when I see his picture, I can almost imagine his voice saying something that she had told me he would say. Her eyes lit up when she would tell us a “Granddaddy” story and she would seem to physically get lighter.

Last night, Nathan called to pray with my Mom and while they prayed, my Grandmother met Jesus. I am blessed to have had her in my life. I am blessed that she knew my children and knew them well. I will always treasure that myoldest daughter carries her name and I pray she grows up to have even HALF of the strength that my G had. Our hearts hurt deeply over this loss, but I know that we will see her again. As we mourn her loss here, we are comforted by the knowledge that she is present with our Lord and Savior. Through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and through her belief that He died for her sins, she will no longer know pain, or tears, or death. She will only know the everlasting JOY that comes through the worship and praise of our Father in Heaven.

I love you G. I miss you very much, but I will see you whole and healed again one day.

*The photo above was taken on June 5th, when she shared a magical day with our family at the SC Aquarium. She was in her wheelchair, but we all had such a wonderful time celebrating Cooper's 7th birthday. It was a day that, as I watched her face and the faces of my children with her, I felt the Lord's favor on us. Those memories for my children are treasures that will serve as a reminder of just how much the Lord loves us and cares for us.