I knew a wonderful woman. She was a woman who loved deeply and gave much. Her door was always open, and so was her heart. From the moment you met her, you wondered if she had somehow known you all your life. And as she wrapped her gentle, loving arms around you, you thought you just might melt into the sweet kindness of her spirit. Although she was not mine by blood, she was my grandmother. And I will never forget the way that she loved me.
Sometimes Ryan and I would leave Lloydminster after an evening engagement and make the five hour night drive down to Calgary to spend a few days with her. It didn’t matter what time of night we arrived, we would always find her lights on and her little figure waiting up for us to appear, ready to make us a warm meal. I always wondered how she managed on so few hours of sleep.
She cheered us on in everything we did. When it came to her grandkids, she was their biggest fan. She even took an interest in our friends, handcrafting special gifts for their new babies and always asking how they were doing. She was so thoughtful, so endearing, so personable. Even in her last days, when her body was failing her and by the world’s standards she had nothing left to give, she managed to make all of her doctors and nurses fall completely in love with her.
This was my Gram, the beautiful soul who drifted peacefully into the next life early this morning. My heart is full of sorrow as I process the loss of someone who meant so much to me. I am so sad that my children will never have the joy of knowing her or experiencing her lavish love and kindness. She was waiting for them; she would have loved them so perfectly.
But my heart—a heart that is ordinarily so full of angst and worry—is also strangely at peace. In this case, I needn’t fear. Gram lived 82 years and her life was far from perfect. Like the rest of us, I know she made her share of mistakes. But in the end, she knew where she was going. And today she is finally at rest. She no longer has to suffer the painful effects of the cancer that was ravaging her body. But more importantly, she is finally home. She is with Jesus. She has been reunited with loved ones long gone. She is free.
For this, I am thankful. In fact, I am joyful. I am overjoyed by the fact that I had the opportunity to know her. I am so thankful that she welcomed me into her life and her family without any hesitation or reservation whatsoever. I am so thankful that I have been able to spend the last seven years making beautiful memories with her. And I am so thankful that she has left a mark on my heart that will last a lifetime.
I love my Gram. And I will miss her. But today I am finding joy in the sorrow, because I know that her story isn’t really over. In fact, her story is only now just beginning.