I’ve spent a lot of this week trying to define what made Grandma so unique, she passed just a few days ago. I feel like I’ve learned so much from her but cannot explain what it is I want to replicate. I certainly enjoy reminiscing about those experiences others spoke to, but how do I remember and cling to those experiences that aren’t as tangible?
Silly as it sounds, I think I’ve found a way to describe Grandma’s life example by comparing it to a GPS navigation system. With a GPS, you put in your final destination and it will navigate you through your journey. And it works best when you trust that voice because it knows more than you do… it sees the bigger picture and can take you through tough spots.
In all my years with Grandma, she was focused on her destination. When given the chance, she was quick to remind me of her final destination, which she would echo in the words of John 14:2, she was headed to “her Father’s house, where there are many mansions.” Her ability to always keep focused on her final destination is inspiring. When I specifically asked in her final days, if doubt every crept in along the way, she replied “why sure,” quickly followed by “which is why I was certain to thank God for sending His Son every night.” Her constant trust in the voice of her navigator is motivating. Because along the way Grandma hit road blocks, detours and heartache.
Losing her husband in 1976, followed by her daughter 9 years later, witnessing the death of every. single. sibling… those all could have been reason for her to re-route her path. In my opinion, if anyone were entitled to turn around and abandon her final destination it would have been her. But as I watched her over the years, she didn’t even enlarge the map (you know, how you do when you want to see what the GPS is seeing, so you try to enlarge it but it drops you back to your small window view). She embraced the part of the journey that was in front of her, while staying steady and unfaltering.
As she stayed her course despite the life events that could have changed her direction, she traveled her life journey with grace. Grandma is proof that as long as you know your final destination and trust the voice to get you there, there was no need to hurry through or try to find a short cut. She made the simplest things the BEST things. I mean, without Grandma, mucklucks are just weird socks. She enjoyed the time between turns and embraced the straight away instead of speeding ahead to the next curve. Even in her final stretch, she waited patiently and assured me she wasn’t afraid.
And finally, on August 25th, 2017 Grandma did it. Her navigation system got her there. She followed the voice of her navigator – her Savior, and near 11pm Jesus announced “you have arrived.” I picture Him greeting her with tears in His eyes and as He embraced her, smiled and said “well-done my child, well-done.”
Her lessons came through her example. It was a privilege to be her granddaughter. Grandma loved Jesus tirelessly, relentlessly and constantly… she set a beautiful example for all of us to follow. And in case you were wondering, she confirmed for me near the end that she loved us equally… which means you were right, you were her favorite.