January 3, 2011 my grandma went home to Jesus. She was 85 years young.
I called her Grams or Grandma. She was my only grandparent. My mother’s parents both died before I was born and my father’s father died two days before I was born. I didn’t grow up in the same city as my grandma, or the same state even. In fact, I was jealous of my cousins who lived nearby and got to spend time with her. She would send me a birthday card every year and would leave half of my middle name off. It would upset me because that wasn’t my whole name. I never called her–I was too busy. She didn’t call very often–I’m sure she was busy, too. I really only saw her once a year during the summers or at Christmastime.
But I loved my Grandma!
In the summers when she would visit, we would play “school” and she would be my student and I would be the teacher. Or we would play hairdresser and she would let me “perm” her already permed hair. At Christmas we would sit in the backseat and count the Christmas lights and see who had the most lights on our side of the car. Her favorite saying was, “My heart, my heart!” As I grew older, we would play cards together: Hearts, Spoons, Euchre. Her age did not get in her way: she was fierce…and a cheater! When I got married, she was there. On one occasion I was complaining about my husband and she reminded me that at least I had one that loved me. When she came to my house, I apologized for it being a mess and she told me, “Housework will always be there. Family will not.” Now that I’m an adult, I understand why she only wrote half my middle name on my birthday cards. It was her name and she was proud. My daughter now shares that same name. And I am proud. She wasn’t just happy, she was joyous. Grandma loved life and lived it to the fullest.
A few years before she passed away she wrote an article in her church newsletter. I would like to share that with you.
Just because I am old does not mean I have to quit living. In some ways, when we are old, it is good that we have more time to rest in the Lord. There have been times in my life that I have done things I am not proud of and the scars are there all the time for me to see, but God is a forgiving God in that He has forgiven me. Many times it is so hard for me to forgive myself.
The one thing in my life that I wish for is that my grandchildren and great grandchildren will see Jesus in me–the way I act, the way I talk and the way I dress. I love my family dearly and I want to leave them with a Godly remembrance of me. I want to be a good example to my family.
We older people are to teach the younger people. I am not much of a teacher but with the Lord on my side, maybe some of the younger people can see that the old paths are Godly paths.
Psalm 25:4-5 says, “Shew me thy ways, O LORD, teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation, on thee do I wait all the day.”
The old must die and the young may die. We do not know when God will call us Home. Some are called at an early age and some live for a very long time. That is entirely up to God. That is why we all need to know for sure that we are saved and on our way to Heaven. Young people need to know for sure that they are going to Heaven because they may not reach old age.
I like being old–people open doors for me, I always get a good seat, people tend to spoil me and I love it. I have so many good friends, a good church, a good pastor, a good family; but best of all, I have a good and loving God and I can’t wait to see Him. There are many of my friends and relatives already there waiting for me.
Psalm 86:11, “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”
Psalm 71:18, “Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.”
God has let me reach 82 years old. Every day I wake up, I am one day closer to being with Jesus. I look forward to being with Jesus some day and that makes it worth it all as I get older. With His love and guidance maybe I’ll get to a real old age. When I get old, I will let you know just how old that is!
Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
What a great reminder that God is a forgiving God, even when we can’t forgive ourselves! How will your children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren remember you? Do you know if you were to die that you are going to Heaven? Young or old, we all have our time, known only by Him. The Bible is clear that, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). I am grateful for my Godly grandmother and the example she set. And I am excited to know that one day I will see her again!