We received a phone call on Friday night at around 11:30. My 92-year-old grandmother was in a car accident earlier that evening. My aunt was calling to tell me that after needing about an hour to extract her from the vehicle, they had rushed her to the hospital, life-flighted her to yet another, and rushed her into surgery. She was awake leading up to the surgery, and, according to the doctor, came through the surgery fine. But, as she was 92 years old, they said that there was a very good chance that she would not survive the night. While my aunt was explaining this to me, she received a phone call from the doctor, urging her to return to the hospital immediately.
My wife and I waited in bed, talking and reflecting. She lived a full, rich life, and was very special to us. Around 12:30, my wife said, "I think she's gone now." I called my cousin to see. She had gone on to her reward about five minutes earlier.
She was a grand old lady. I count myself blessed beyond degree to have known her, to have been able to introduce her to all five of my children, to have had the privilege of having her around for so late into my life.
When my grandfather died, some three or four years ago now, my grandmother began to look forward to the day when she could see him again in eternity. My grandfather was a godly man, and one of the great influences in my life, as well as in my ministry. Grandpa showed his piety in his love for the Word of God, in his constant references to God and to God's goodness. But my grandmother was different. Grandpa showed his piety in his zeal for the Lord. Grandma showed her piety at home. She was faithful to my grandfather. For the last several years of his life, he was unable to walk, and was unable to care for himself. My grandma cared for him. Because of his condition, she had to do everything for him... and she did these things without complaint. For those years, she was bound to him, and would not leave his side. He was everything to her.
When he died, my grandmother grieved for a long time. She wanted to go to be with him right away. But she understood that this was in God's hand. And so, she went back to living. I am very grateful for the opportunities that my grandmother had in these last years of her life. In the last couple of years, she has been able to travel to Disney, to Texas, on a Caribbean Cruise, on an Alaskan Cruise, and to spend a few months with my cousin down in Florida. I am very thankful that she was able to do so much in her last days.
But most of all, I would like to praise our Great God, the Creator and Sustainer of all life, for His marvelous works on her behalf. When a loved one is taken so suddenly, so tragically, what is there to praise the Lord for? My family and I gathered together on Saturday night, as has been our custom for several years now, and listed out all the things that we had to be thankful for from the week that was then finishing. Among those things that were named, we thanked the Lord for taking my grandmother home. We thanked God because, although she was old, she remained healthy until the very end. She did not spend her last days in bed, dependent on others for her care. She was healthy right up to her final hours. In fact, the day that she died was taken up with doctor visits, shopping, and running around with my aunt. She even put in an order for a new set of teeth on that day.
We thanked God that, although we would miss her, she was even then reunited with her husband of over 65 years, and with her son (my father) who died thirty-some years earlier. We thanked God that, although we were sorry to see her go, that we could be sure of a reunion some day, when God calls each one of us home to be with Him. We thanked God that she is even now enjoying God forever. We thanked God for the wonderful assurance that He gives us, that we can know Him, and that we can know that we have eternal life.
There is so much more to say. My grandmother left us a legacy, and a great basket full of memories to cherish. I am very grateful to God for having brought us together, for giving me to her as a grandson. I will miss her. We all will miss her. But we are thankful that we can say with full assurance, that we'll not miss her forever. We'll see her again. As her faith rested fully and completely on Jesus Christ alone for salvation, we'll see her again. As surely as we will see Christ in that day, we will see her with Christ. Praise be to God!
Blessings on her memory.
Labels: Family Notes