It’s my toes, well the pinky toes, that are the most obvious link between us. (That seems like the strangest line I’ve ever written.) But if you were to look down at my feet you’d find that my pinky toes don’t point up to the sky but off to the side as if they missed the memo about where they were meant to be looking. They’re also the most obvious physical link to my grandmother.
There’s other connections as well.
The woman was competitive. Even in her 90’s there was no game that she didn’t play to win. She was known to play 6 games of Yahtzee at once. At once! I struggle to play one game of Yahtzee at time, but 6 for her was no big deal. The best way to spend time with her and have a good conversation was at the table in her house, cards in hand, chatting away with a little trash talk mixed in for good measure. And lucky, she always seemed to have all the luck. She didn’t mind reminding you about that either!
The woman loved Jesus. She faithfully read her Bible. As her eyesight failed, others read for her. As her hearing left her, we all read it slowly and louder than we thought we should. She never stopped wanting to learn about her Lord. Faithful church attendance was an essential part of her life. If she could be at church, she was. Part of her walk with God was to read the Daily Bread. Those Devotionals were an important part of her day. More than just routine, each time we sat down to read it, there was a connection with family and her Heavenly Father.
She was an ardent Blue Jays fan. I’m not really into baseball. There’s other sports that I’m much more passionate about, but my grandmother passed on the love of sports to me, too. She had her favourite players. She knew about things like strikes, outs and balls. Home runs made her smile. I can only imagine what she would have thought had she been able to actually go to a game.
She loved her garden and had an eye for beauty. Flowers were her joy and delight. The more the better. The more vibrant the colours the more fantastic. It was only right if her house was in the middle of a bower.
She loved her family! There were lots of us. 11 children. Spouses. 34 grandchildren. Great grandchildren. Great-great grandchildren. She saw 5 generations unfold before her eyes.
This year she celebrated a Mother’s Day none of us anticipated. She celebrated with Jesus. 96 years were given to her on earth and they were full. Work, a husband, children, moving, a Centennial project, a child buried in infancy, grandchildren, more moves, games, laughter, tears, the death of a spouse, a grandchild and two sons-in-law, health, sickness – these were all part of that journey.
On Mother’s Day she was more home than ever before. She saw Jesus’ face. Her journey on earth finished – her ardent desire for more than a year.
No one saw it coming. The night before, she read the Daily Bread and played Chinese Checkers with family. All seemed fine. At some point in the night, she was ushered into the presence of Glory. She is exactly where she wants to be. We mourn. She does not. We grieve. She rejoices. We don’t wish her back. There’s just a hole there now that’s Grandma shaped. We will celebrate her. A life well lived. A woman at home with her Saviour – the best kind of Mother’s Day she could ever have imagined.