Goodbye Sweet Grandmother

 My maternal Grandma, her name was Dena, left the Earth this last Sunday - the 17th. 

She had heart problems for the longest time -- many times we went to the hospital to say goodbye to her; only to have her leave and go home, vibrant and kicking! 
So even though she had been in the hospital a few days, and the doctors said that she would die -- and that there was no hope . . . It is still crazy to think she is gone. I'm going to miss her so much.

Our relationship was messy -- and we had hurt eachother often. We didn't spend enough time together; I didn't go up to see her enough. I do regret it, but I won't let that regret huant me. Thankfully, this last few months have been pretty good. I guess that is the awful part -- not that I didn't spend enough time with her -- but that I was just to the point were I wanted to know her and spend time with her. I was excited to visit Minnesota this summer and go to her house and spend the night or hang out, take pictures of her and my aunt's son, Quinton, take pictures of her and my children, take pictures of her horses. 

The most awful thing is just looking at the fact that in this world I will never see her again -- my children, Elizabeth and Cj will never get to know her like Lily does. 

But I can be thankful: that our relationship was getting better when she left. I wasn't angry with her and I am pretty sure that she wasn't with me. She got to see my wedding. She got to see three of our children and love them. She made them beautiful quilts that I will cherish for ever.

On Friday, my aunt called me and I missed the call. For some reason, as I listened to the voicemail telling me that she had a stroke and had drove into a building. (not a huge crash, just a tiny one) -- this time seemed different. I started crying, I was scared. Every time I have gotten a call about her I had been totally fine. And even though I still had Peace -- this time it just felt like it was . . . the time. So she was flown to St.Paul where the doctors said that she had a Massive Stroke. Her heart was too fragile to do surgery -- but surgery was the only thing that could have made a difference. She was paralyzed on her left side and if she would've gotten better -- I know she would've been depressed living that way. Eventually she couldn't open her eyes, or talk to people. My sister Delrae said that when she squeezed her hand, my Grandma squeezed back. :) 

At 2:44 pm I recieved the news:

I looked at it and took a deep breath. A knot of emotion formed in my throat. Chris came down stairs and sat on the couch. I walked over and showed him. I tried to talk but I couldn't -- I sat in his arms and I cried. He asked, "Are you okay honey?" I said "I'm just . . . sad . . ya know? " 

I found a picture and showed Lily, to make sure she knew who Grandma Dena was. She was a little sad. She hears about death all the time because of the HelloGoodbye Foundation. I'm not sure if she is fully aware yet. She loved going to Grandma Dena's -- Gosh I'm so glad that she knew her. I just wish that people could live forever. 
I don't know if people can 'look' down on us from Heaven or not. I don't know if my Grandma is in Heaven or not (because we can never be certain with anyone). I would like to say she is -- I can see her there, with our cousin who died at 6 years old -- playing, riding horses. It is so beautiful to imagine. I sure hope that I will see her again someday there. 

And if God or His angels, do tell people messages from us than I would like her to know. . .

Lord, thank you for the time you gave us with my grandmother. Thank you for taking her before she had to suffer here -- it was her wish that she would just leave and be at Peace. She didn't want to be stuck here if it wasn't Your will. Thank you for letting her see and know us, and strengthening our relationship before she left  -- thank you for letting her know You. I hope with all of my heart that her relationship with You was enough to enter your eternal Love. I hope I see her again one day, and we can praise you together -- without the powerful emotions of this world that conflicted our relationship while she was here. Horrible things like gossip and fear. Please tell her that I love her dearly. Tell her about the love You see in my heart this moment. Tell her about the plans I had dreamed of in my heart to do with her -- tell her of everything I wish I had done. Tell her about how hard I tried to love her despite the deepening hurt of our family's curses. How much I cared. Tell her. Because You know my heart and on Earth she could not see it. Tell her I love her and that I will be seeing her on the other side of the Rainbow. 

I will miss you Dearly, my sweet Grandmother. I will be inspired by the wonderful soul that you had and remember you my entire walk on Earth. I'll be seeing you!

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
Nor will he harbor his anger for ever;
He does not treat us as our sins deserve
Or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is his love for those who fear him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
For he knows how we are formed,
He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass,
He flourishes like a flower of the field;
The wind blows over it and it is gone,
And its place remembers it not more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
The Lord's love is with those who fear him.
Psalm 103: 8-17

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 4:16-15:8

The babies and their quilts that Grandma Dena made them.
Left: Lily receiving her quilt at her one year old birthday. RIGHT: My grandma Dena holding Lily. (the bigger baby in the top picture is our cousin Quinton)

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