On Thursday, my sweet Memaw went to be with Jesus after 91 long years. My heart is very sad because I grew up around the block from her and she was a constant throughout my childhood. She had the sweetest spirit ever. I am so happy that she now is with Jesus and has a strong and new heart and body, but selfishly I am really sad.
God blessed me with some beautiful and sacred hours with her before she met Jesus. I went to Radford Wednesday evening and spent some time with her then and then Thursday morning. I will forever be grateful to God for those precious hours. She knew she was not alone and was surrounded by family and she knew she was going to greet Jesus.
Wednesday night I curled up in her hospital bed with her and rubbed her back and held her tight. Those last 24 hours she was very twitchy and jerky and it made me feel better to hold on to her. We took a selfie together:)
I was so touched Wednesday night watching my sweet Dad tend to her. He has been a faithful and wonderful son to her. She has been a widow since 1999 and since then my Dad stopped by her house every single morning on his way to work to check in with her. He has visited with her every day in the nursing home tending to her finances and other paperwork stuff. My Mom was her personal shopper and nursing home room decorator.
God has also used this bonus year with Memaw in the nursing home to help Dad and his sister Charlotte reconnect and strengthen their bond. Memaw often wondered why the Lord was keeping her here for so long and I think there will be many fruits of the labor.
Those last few hours I rubbed lotion on my grandma's hands just soaking up time. We all commented that we are changing facial cleaning routines ASAP because my garndma used Noxzema her entire life and her skin was gorgeous and soft even after 91 years of walking this Earth.
My Aunt Charlotte made it from Ohio just a few hours before my Memaw passed. She was stuck in a snowstorm at home in Ohio and could not leave until Thursday. So thankful she got to spend some precious time with her before she met Jesus. God's timing is always perfect.
Friday morning I was headed to Radford to help clean out her nursing home room and to help my Mom prepare for company. I was so sad and heartbroken over losing my Memaw and I looked out of my sunroof and saw this gorgeous sky. Memaw is happy and whole thanks to Jesus.
Memaw's long life taught me some life lessons:
1) Love for God, church, and family. Memaw was a faithful server in her church for many decades. She taught me that just showing up for worship on Sunday morning is not enough. Serve others and serve your church!
2) Yesterday I placed my hand over her heart that was still beating weakly. It hit me hard that in her last few hours nothing mattered but that she was surrounded by family and had the blessed assurance that she WOULD meet Jesus. In her final hours it did not matter what size her bank account was, what kind of car she drove, what the square footage of her house was, all that mattered is that she was loved by us and loved by her Lord. That was a beautiful reminder to me yesterday that I need to stay the course and focus on what matters in this life. Memaw certainly did.
3) Her love for her quilts and cooking. I feel so honored that I can rock her chicken and dumplins recipe and she and I worked together on a small quilt wall hanging many years ago. I have her recipe box and her UMW cookbook and those are my favorites treasures that came out of her home.
4) God has truly prepared us a place in Heaven. In her final hours, a pastor came and prayed with her. It was just the three of us and we held onto her and prayed that the Lord would take her and to thank Him that he has prepared us a place. During the prayer her eyes popped open very large and she pointed beyond us in that room. It was beautiful and holy to think that she was privleged to see something that the Pastor and I were not able to see.
So this weekend we prepare to see family and friends to send her home in the way that she planned. It will be precious family time together as we all remember the woman who taught us many life lessons and God's truths.