Tuesday, September 4, 2012

For Lena

My Grandma Lena died in January of 2010. She was a wonderful, kind woman who always had a genuine smile for everyone even though her life was anything but easy. She was the best listener I'd ever met. She would have been 87 today.

I was too sick to make the 25hr drive from Pittsburgh to South Dakota for her funeral. I'd made that drive to my Grandpa's funeral just six short weeks earlier---not the best decision I've ever made as I wound up in the hospital just a few days before Grandma died. In any case, The weather was so bad that if I'd tried to fly there, I'd likely have gotten stuck in Minneapolis. My brother couldn't make it from Colorado for that reason. There was nothing I could do.

As sick people, we miss out on a lot of things. We have to. Luckily those things we miss, important as they are, rarely have anything to do with us. Funerals are about praising God for loving the one that we loved more than they're about saying goodbye, and I can do that from a hospital bed just fine if I have to.

We ought to let the guilt go, accept our limitations with grace and reasonableness, and stop thinking about ourselves because it's not about us. (Good advice, to be sure, but I still cry about the fact that I didn't get to say goodbye to Grandma the way I wanted to. I am such a brat).

And so, this video for Grandma Lena. She'd have been thrilled with my effort, chuckled at Tennessee Ernie Ford's overt cheesiness, smiled at the pictures of the landscape she loved, and sung along to one of her favorite hymns, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Enjoy.

Dear Grandma,

Your knefla was so very good,
Your smile was so warm.
And just like we're sure you did,
We miss visiting the farm.

We wish that two of us
Didn't live so far away,
But winter kept us from you and each other
On this special day.

We were there to say good-bye to Grandpa,
And to show our love to you.
But Dad asked us to say put this time,
And he said you'd say that, too.

So, good-bye, dear Grandma, we love you.
We're sorry we're not there.
Our hearts are breaking all the same,
So ghets, life was never fair. 

We thank God that you don't know about
Our tears and all our pain:
You're busy up in heaven now
Where it won't so much as rain.

And we'll see you one more time:
You were baptized into Jesus
So that when our time to go comes
You'll be right there to greet us.

Please tell Jesus not to wait too long
To make this earth His home.
And in the meantime, we'll be glad just knowing that
You don't have to polka dance alone.

Suggested verse to repeat if it's a difficult day is from Psalm 4:8a
PRC buddies, remember to breathe!
"In peace, -------> 5 count inhale
I will both lie down and sleep." ------> 5 count exhale

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