My family and I had the opportunity to attend my grandmothers memorial service recently. I was honored to sing hymns at her service, which she had requested, because that is what she loved. I am sad knowing that I no longer have my grandmother here on this earth. Oh, how I wish I could pick up the phone and talk with her or go for a visit. And although I miss her, I am delighted to know she is in heaven. I know her relationship with the Lord was solid.
As I sat in the chapel, withmy husband and children all around, I was looking on at photographs of my grandmother through the years. There were many pictures of her as a younger woman and others of her as an older woman. The constant theme in these pictures was that she was always with her family. My grandmother loved to be surrounded by her family. Also on display at the service was my grandmothers wedding dress. My grandmothers wedding dress (a suit actually, with a fitted jacket and a shorter skirt) was red velvet. It was gorgeous! She was gorgeous. She loved primary colors. And when asked what her favorite color was, she would answer, “Bright!”
Many of the thoughts that were shared about her that day were in regards to how she served others. This service was lived out in many ways. Grandma always asked everyone if they were hungry. She loved to feed people. Grandma always worried about whether people had enough food. There was a season in my life when my mom and lived with my grandparents while I was in elementary school. Although it was a short season, I remember it fondly. I loved being near my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I will never forget the breakfasts after church on Sundays. My grandma knew how to cook for a crowd.
My grandmother also had a way of calling for people – yelling, actually. There is a specific tonal quality to this yelling that only her children and grandchildren can re-create. I giggle every time I hear it in my own voice…
As I remember my grandmother, I recognize how much she has shaped who I am and that her influence has directly impacted every area of my life. My grandmother took the word of God seriously. When Jesus spoke of caring for “the least of these,” my Grandma understood those words and answered that call. She prayed daily for her family and she loved to hear the details of our lives. She was so proud of her children and grandchildren. I loved the many times she would sit and ask all kinds of questions about our family, our ministry, our lives. She would say things to us about what a wonderful family we have.
People have always told me that I remind them of my grandmother. I knew there were similarities between us. Yet, I never recognized how much my grandmother shaped who I am today. I am the woman I am today because of the seeds she planted through the years of my life. I went to church with her and sang songs to our Lord. She taught Sunday School and I listened. She and my grandfather hosted bible studies in their home where I witnessed solid teaching and fellowship. My Grandma told me about Jesus and how important it was to pray and read His word. My grandmother instilled in me a love for BIG families. She showed me how to feed people, and help others. She lived by example. Just as she took people into her home to minister to them, I too have taken people into my home. I am reminded as I cook and care for my family, as I sew, crochet, knit, prepare grocery lists and meal plans,why I love wearing my bright red scarf, that she was a vital part of shaping me into the woman I am today. I serve others in the way that I do because she first showed me how.
I am grateful to my grandmother and my grandfather for the years they sacrificed for others. I am thankful that they understood what it meant to follow Christ, and to disciple others. Thank you God for my Grandma. Thank you for all that you blessed her with and all you showed her to do in this life. Thank you for giving her a love for people and for family. She taught us well. I am thankful to my Grandma for answering the Lords Glorious call on her life. It wasn’t always glamorous or comfortable, but she responded. She ran a good race. I look forward to the day we meet again. In the meantime, may I never forget the daily impact I have on people and the legacy I am creating in my family, my church and my community.