Sunday, April 21, 2013

Three Years of Good-Bye

Thursday was an interesting day for me.  It didn't feel like thursday at first because I had been sick the day before and Bob had stayed home.  Second, our mom's group did something different and we didn't chat like usual but spent the time individually in prayer.  It was so refreshing to be able to have a large chunk of un-interrupted time when I didn't have to worry about when a child might bounding in with a request.  My afternoon brought an unexpected text message and more phone calls and then Bob ran in the Orlando 5k and we cheered him on, to return to our car to see another text message bringing me to this post to sort my thoughts. Grandma, my last Grandparent, had passed away.  It was quickly and quietly like we had hoped it would be, in a hospital and not at home, but peaceful and surrounded by 2 of her children.  She had lived a full life and met 4 of her great-grandchildren.

Lydia receiving the last great-grandchild quilt, hand stitched
Her and my grandfather were in a major car accident in December of 2006 and should have both died then, but didn't.  It helped them both heal and lifted their spirits when they were able to see each other through the shared bathroom.   Every moment since then has been a gift.  They attended my wedding the following year.  Grandpa passed away in 2010 an emotional roller coaster of a hospital stay.  I was at Disney World that day.  How extreme the contrast.

Lydia in the front yard (May 2010)
Grandma and Grandpa were truly knit together as one soul.  Many of us wondered if she would live to see the next Christmas with such a broken heart for her husband of 65+ years.  She lived another 3 years, again a gift of time.

September 2011
People ask how I'm feeling and its always a mix when dealing with grief.  But relief is a word that comes to mind.  Her care was becoming exhausting for her family, and her body was just wearing out.  She had lived a long full life, and seen the world.  Her friendships circle the globe, with no exaggeration.  Daily life was becoming more of a burden and her heart continued to be lonely for her husband.  So now that she is gone, she is free from pain and reunited with the love of her life in Heaven.  I'm sure she is touring the garden he has spent the last 3 years working on in heaven just for her, he was a Master Gardener.

Caleb "signing" the guest book
The extra years they lived together let them celebrate my wedding with all of their children together in one place.  They met their third great-grandchild, and only great-granddaughter.  The extra years she had with us meant special memories with 2 great-grandchildren crawling and running and discovering the wonders of farm chores and picking fruits.  
picking tomatos
watering plants w/Aunt Alice
We said our last good byes in January 2012, Lydia watered the plants as had become her chore when she visited with water from the pump, we played Candyland with Great Grandma, Lydia's birthday present, and when it was time to leave, Caleb wanted a bite of Great Grandma's York Peppermint patty.  She readily shared it, expecting him to take a bite, but instead he put the whole thing in his mouth.  Sorry Great Grandma!   Memories we can keep, when we must let go of people.

Playing Candyland with Great Grandma
Caleb stealing Great Grandma's York Peppermint

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