Sunday, December 11, 2011

How Do You Say Goodbye?

On Thursday Mom told me that Grandma had died. We were expecting it (sort of) because on Tuesday she hit her head. Wednesday morning she never woke up and was rushed to the hospital. As I've struggled with my emotions over the past few days, I have have been thinking a lot about Heaven. For years Grandma had been in a wheelchair. Last time I visited, we went to the beach. We pushed Grandma to the edge of the parking lot in Carmel. She could see the sand and the surf, but she couldn't touch it because she had to stay in her chair. Today my Grandma can glory in the beach. She is free to walk on the sand and even chase the sandpipers along the shore. She could swim if she wanted. I remember that my Grandma was a pianist. The arthritis gnarled her hands and she couldn't play. Today her hands are perfect. Her playing is flawless again. It's funny because I imagine her young and beautiful, playing piano in Heaven. I know that the focus of Heaven is Jesus, but I still like to imagine that He is excited to hear her play again. It's reassuring to know that her soul is with Christ. Today as I sang in church, I began to cry because it hit me that I was joining in with all the saints to worship Jesus. I was joining in with my Grandma to worship Jesus.

I've felt really sorry that I never got to sit down with my grandmother and tell her about my Uganda trip. She was so supportive and I was supposed to visit her right after coming home from Africa, but I got sick. I thought about some of the kids from Good Shepherd's Fold who have died. Kids I never met, but one morning we visited their graves. I imagine them crowding around my grandmother telling her about Uganda and their stories in more detail than I could ever give. She is perfect and perfectly with the Savior that her heart loved so well.

I remember being small and going to visit Daffodil Drive. The whole house would smell like baking and the counter would be full of treats. I remember homemade dresses. Trips to the beach, eating hamburgers in the sun or sourdough bread on the Fisherman's Warf. I remember her beautiful handwritten letters. I remember how she called me "Emmy" and the joy in her voice when she spoke to me. I remember her and I miss her. She is complete now, and she will come running toward me some day to welcome me into the perfect presence of Jesus.