Three hours ago, I saw my grandmother for what will probably be the last time. She’s been failing. She hasn’t had anything to eat or drink in three days. She hasn’t opened her eyes since Saturday. She is on her way to see Jesus.
As I leaned over her bed and kissed the cheek that I have kissed countless times in my lifetime, I was struck by the impact this amazing woman has had on my life. She taught me how to make an angel food cake. She taught me to make bubbles out of my hands and a bar of Ivory soap. She taught me the song about “All the Pretty Little Ponies.”
And more importantly, she taught me to love Jesus. She had a room in her house built simply to be her prayer closet. A small room with a spotlight shining on a picture of Jesus with a carpeted step covered in tear stained Bibles and lists of requests. The grandkids used to enter the room with quiet awe. We knew that what went on in that room was holy and sacred… and yet we were always welcome in her sanctuary.
She taught me to love people. There was always someone at the door who needed to talk to Faye. She was always reaching out to those who needed a shoulder to cry on. She was so very kind.
She taught me how to love my family. She taught each and every one of my children how to roll over when they were babies. She would lie on the floor next to them and swat their little behinds again and again trying to get them to find their tummy. And I’m pretty sure she was there the first time each one of them actually did it.
Tonight, as I stroked her hair and whispered my goodbyes, I looked up and saw the bulletin board above her bed with pictures of her sweet husband, beloved children, adoring grandchildren and beautiful great-grandchildren. I was overwhelmed by her legacy. It was a picture of a life multiplied. Her life, her love, her faith… passed down and reproduced.
I felt incredibly challenged to continue the path she started me on. To pick up where she left off. To pray more, to teach more, to love more. To see the bigger picture. To realize that the collection of seconds in my day accumulate quicker than I can imagine and in a heartbeat my time on earth will be done.
I pray my children and grand children and great-grandchildren will remember me as fondly as I remember her. That I will pass on to them all that she passed on to me. That the way I live my life will honor her, and all those who have gone before.