Friday, December 13, 2013

I Don't Think They Celebrate Birthdays in Heaven But....

I am remembering my dear Grandma today....and do practically almost every day for that matter, but especially today.  She would have turned 100 years old today if she were still with us physically.  But I'm confident she is dancing and laughing, reading her Bible and rocking in her rocking chair on a porch in heaven...with her beloved dog, Dusty by her side.  I loved my Grandma dearly- adored her actually.  She loved Jesus, loved her family and loved her life- even though it was a hard life.  She was a farmer's wife who knew the reality of hard work and going without.  Yet, she always saw her cup as full, she spent long hours admiring the beauty in nature, kept her modest home tidy, could prepare a feast in her tiny kitchen, stayed busy but always -ALWAYS- had time for a long chat.  I really feel that I learned so much about who I am and who I want to become from her.  She continues to be one of the most influential women in my life.

She was the champion of little ones who didn't get much love or TLC at home and she volunteered to be a "reader" at the local elementary school and kids of all ages looked forward to reading to "Grandma Ellen" as she was affectionately known.  Grandma loved and lived with a servant's heart and spent her years following my grandpa's passing giving her life and resources away to those in need.  I remember her always reading her Bible, and striving to learn more about Jesus through books or teachings.  Grandma loved to share with me what she was learning about her Savior and how it was changing her life and was quick to want to know and hear about what I was learning as well.  Mother Theresa was her hero.  Grandma loved Honeybuns and when it came time to leave after a visit, she would always slip into your hand a little bit of carefully folded money...just because.  I loved to visit her because spending time with her always felt like how life was supposed to be lived.  Simple, slow, intentional, faithful and rich in love and laughter.

If you happened to be blessed enough to get to visit her home, she would stuff you full of the best food you've ever tasted, cover you with a warm blanket and tuck you in for a nap on her couch which still reigns as the most comfortable and best napping couch ever- ask anyone in my family.  She loved to take care of you...even if it was the first time you just felt right at home.  She served 7-Up floats on summer evenings, and she loved to watch a good storm roll in across the pasture (I know I inherited this love of storms and nature from her). She was always brimming with stories, but also quick to listen - and really hear- the ones you were sharing with her too.  She lived intentionally and with deep meaning.  She loved well and was also loved well by all who knew her.

She was a woman I adored and still miss to this day even though she passed many years ago.  It makes me sad that she never got to meet and love Joe (whom she would have adored) and of course Lily, who I know would have tickled her pink.  It does bring my heart tremendous comfort to know that she is snuggling, giggling with and rocking our sweet Luke in heaven. I can't wait to pull up a chair on that heavenly porch, sit next to Grandma and watch Luke run and laugh. I know she is still with me and I carry much of her shared wisdom with me today.  I stand on her shoulders, thanks to the heroic choices she made for herself and her family along the way. She was not a perfect woman, but she was a perfect Grandma who had tremendous influence on my life and who I am today.  I miss her and love her every day.

Happy Birthday, Grandma!  I love you.