Dear Grandma

First of all, I wanna say “Thank You” for the hard work you invested into your family. Because of you, we are blessed with such a very rich heritage. And that is maybe one of the greatest treasures this world can offer. Thank you for standing behind Grandpa as he made some very difficult – seeming changes for his family and community in your younger days. Our Mennonite community was built partly due to the sweat of his brow and your fervent prayers. Thank you for trusting God’s strength when the way seemed impassable. Thank you for demonstrating to us a quiet, strong life – one that was laid down for His use. And thanks for your gentle spirit as you struggled with the stroke in 2009, and then widowhood in 2010. You always showed to me a beautiful soul, surrendered to the cause of the cross.

Then secondly, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for grudgingly giving up my mother so that you could depend on her; I wish now that I would have more fully and joyfully accepted caring for your aging body. I’m sorry for waiting to sing to you until the very end, and I’m sorry for the kisses I held back. You deserved so many more.

I could say lots of good things about your life on this earth, how your generosity touched many and your kindness encouraged countless, but there’s so very much more to say about what you’re experiencing now. Heaven is your home now, and as you sit with Grandpa and enjoy the beauty….words fail me. I miss you down here, but I love to think how much brighter Heaven is shining with you there. So walk down those golden streets, look on your Redeemer with tears in your eyes, squeeze Grandpa’s hand, and praise Him with all your heart. I’m thinking of you today and will be tomorrow and I’m inspired.

I love you Grandma.

Grandma and Grandpa in ’95

Grandma in much younger days – unknown year

Me, Grandma, and Mom (2011)

One summer evening Grandma came over for supper

Looking at Benjamin’s photobook together

One hazy day in May she was watching us pull weeds. I happened to accidentally knock off a rosebud, so I offered it to her and she liked the idea 🙂

Grandma suffered a massive stroke in May 2009. Her left arm was completely paralyzed and she was confined to a wheelchair. Still she kept up her cheerful spirit for over two-and-a-half years while Grandpa became ill and died in April 2010. Pneumonia shook her body with coughing and took away her voice, reducing her communication to a breathless whisper. Through it all she never lost hope and kept her courage until the end. She died January 18, 2012, with Mom and me at her side. 

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