Monday, May 21, 2012

To My Grandma

Julia Elizabeth
June 8, 1944 - May 5, 2012
My Grandma went to be with Jesus the morning of May 5th.  As heartrending as it feels I'm so happy for her! In the last 5+ years her health had gotten worse and worse, she spent the last two weeks of her life in the ICU. She really wanted to live to July 14th, to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary with my Grandpa. And to see her oldest granddaughter's wedding next spring.  She had fought so long and so hard.  Through breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, gout, and kidney failure.

But now she's free from all her pain. No more dialysis, medication, doctors, and hospitals...she's free! Perfectly healed and perfectly whole.  She's with her Mom, Grandmother, her brother, and the grandchildren that she didn't get to meet on earth...I know she is unbelievably happy.

We're grieving for ourselves, not for her...

She was such a wonderful person. Truly unique.  Full of life, vivacious, outgoing, generous, and fun.  She was incredibly creative and gifted.  We always have called her BooBoo, one of the many names that my Grandpa has had for her, and she always liked it because she said it was unique.

She was more than just my Grandma, she was my dear friend.

I see her all around me. My life is filled with her. I treasure the cookbook she made me, the clothes she sewed, the dolls she made before I was born.  The cards she sent me every Birthday, Valentines, and Easter.  The Christmas ornaments, the books, the apron that she sewed this past Christmas when her hands were gnarled with gout.

I miss the times that I had with her before she got so sick, when she was more like her real, fun loving self. She would spend hours telling me stories, swimming with us in the pool, watching shows with us during the summertime on her big bed while she would massage my feet or brush my hair.  I miss playing "Julia and Francesca" and "Thelma and Louise." I miss going shopping with her and eating out. I miss playing games with her around the dining room table every night and having her get mad at me for not playing by the rules (though I hated it at the time). I miss the way she says "water" and "daughter" in her Southern accent.  I miss cooking with her and eating the cookies she made every Christmas. I miss her reading "Nancy Drew" to me when I was younger. I miss her being at my ballet recitals and always making me feel so special. I miss calling her and her praying for me and the peace that I would always feel when she did.

Grandma, I missed you last week when I wanted to call to wish you a happy mother's day.  I miss skyping with you and seeing your posts on Facebook and your blog.  I will miss you every time there is something special and I can't call to tell you about it.  I will miss you at my graduation.  I will miss your love (more like passion) for Christmas!  I miss your smile, voice, laugh, and touch.

But I know that I will see you again!

BooBoo, thank-you for every time you sat through dialysis so that you could live to spend more time with us. Thank-you for every time we kept you up until the wee hours of the morning and you didn't get upset. Thank-you for every gift you ever gave us and every card you ever sent, I have saved them all.  Thank-you for every recital that you went to even when your health was so bad. Thank-you for teaching us about our family history. Thank-you for teaching us about Southern hospitality and gracious living.  Thank-you for teaching us about how to be a good hostess.  Thank-you for imparting your respect and love of the south to us. Thank-you for writing the journals to us. Thank-you for your love of homemaking.  Thank-you for imparting your love of crafting to your granddaughters. Thank-you for every Christmas that you made so magical. Thank-you for making your house one of my favorite places to be.  Thank-you for being silly with us and doing things just to shock us. Thank-you for putting up with so much from us. Thank-you for encouraging me in my dreams and always making each of us feel special and important. Thank-you for every prayer that you prayed for me. Thank-you for always teaching me to live for Jesus and to trust Him with my life.
You will live in our hearts until we meet you again. I hope you're one of the first people to greet me when I come to heaven.

I will think of you every time I'm in Georgia. At every family gathering. Every time I hear Elvis sing "Blue Christmas" I will think of you trying to mimic him. Every thing about Christmas makes me think of you, you loved it more than anyone I know.  Every time I eat ice cream and Popsicles.  Every time I swim. Every time I see one of those "fluffy" Christian novels you were never without.  Every time I watch Food Network, House Hunters, or Gone With the Wind. Every time I sew. And every time I'm on stage.  Every time I make one of your recipes. Everytime I see your picture.

I love you BooBoo,
I hope that you're eating lime Popsicles in your mansion!
I'll see you again...

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14 ~ My Grandma's favorite verse