Friday, May 13, 2011

Journey of Faith Friday: My Granny....The Woman Who.....

**Thank you for visiting my blog.  I am sorry for not returning the visit as I have been traveling and am now spending time with my grandmothers.
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I can barely catch my breath.  Memories keep flashing before me, beautiful ones, but ones that force the aching of my heart to overflow down my face.  While I run free against the wind struggling to catch my breath, she lies in a hospital bed yelling out in pain and everyone questions if she is struggling to catch her breath.  The wind blows harder and I like it.  I like it, because it helps with my frustration, my sadness.  The harder it blows, the harder I push, one foot in front of the other and the tears sting and I can barely keep going.  

I take a deep breath and visualize the short white haired woman who used to douse the kitchen counter with flour giving me one area to roll dough while she did the "real thing."  

The woman who taught me to hoe a garden, plant seeds, and harvest them all while wearing a large brimmed hat.  

The woman whose back I used to nuzzle while she told me a story before bedtime.  

The woman who would let me sit on the kitchen counter to watch her cook.  She would say, "What do you want for lunch (already knowing the answer)?"  
                        "Grilled cheese, because no one makes one like you,  Granny."

The woman who taught me to sew with unending patience.  I see her arthritic fingers threading the needle ever so intently, while sharing the in's and out's of hand stitching.

The woman who took joy in cooking for her family.....every Sunday.

The woman who allowed little hands and feet to scurry around tying blankets to bed posts and chairs transforming her home into a playground of our own.

The woman who laughed when my toe nail was found in a piece of her homemade sea foam candy after she told me to stop cutting my nails around it.

The woman who taught me to string beans and make pull candy.

The woman whose smile and LAUGH can light up a room.

The woman I called to ask how to make vegetable soup, gravy, icing, and so on.

The woman who stayed in a marriage when the going was tough....for years.

The woman who bathed, shaved, dressed, transferred, turned, and fed the ailing man, she called husband, during his final years.

The woman who held pencil tight between knobby fingers all the while saying, "I think crossword puzzles keep me thinking."

The woman who taught me much about Jesus.  Not through her prayer life or Bible reading or church attendance or spiritual discipline, but through her service.  She is a woman with a servant's heart.  She has cared for her family in a way few people do in this day and age.  She has volunteered her time, talents, and resources to others.  She is a patient and encouraging teacher.  She is so much more than my Granny.

I look up and ask God, "What is the gift in this?  How can I be thankful, when she no longer recognizes those she once cradled in her arms and nursed from her breast?  How is suffering a gift?"  Like Ann Voskamp writes, "I know it but I don't want to: it is a choice.  Living with losses, I may choose to still say yes.  Choose to say yes to what He freely gives.  Could I live that--the choice to open the hands to freely receive whatever God gives?  If I don't, I am still making a choice.  The choice not to" (in regards to gratitude--One Thousand Gifts, p. 18).

I am not sure what the gift is and honestly I can't fully say I believe there is a gift, but if for no other reason this is a time to reflect on the love, care, support, and encouragement she has provided to all of us.
You can read previous Journey of Faith posts HERE.

I apologize for not posting the linky tool or the Journey of Faith HTML, but I am out of town spending time with my grandmother's.

If you post of God's work in your life, please leave me a comment with the link to your direct post.

Blessings to all of you!


Kay K said...

How blessed you are to call her yours !!!

Laura said...

I love the sweet picture with Sam and the last one with you. You will cherish that and show Bennett and your other sweet children that some day. Praying for you sweet friend....

Brooke said...

This is such a sweet post. Thinking about you and your family!

katy said...

Praying for you and your family, Amber. It is so hard to watch a loved one suffer.

karren said...

This is a beautiful post, and tribute to your grandmother. You will be stronger for your trials. Maybe her lingering here is so others can grow. I also,
"Give thinks in all things"

Kindra said...

This is a beautiful post dear friend. Maybe the gift is just in your Granny Hester's life and the incredible impact she had on your's. I don't know why God allows us to suffer. I really wish I understood this. Maybe He just wants us to remember that this isn't our home.

Anna Boney said...

Crying as your words are sweet and precious and make us all want to be around her. Thinking about you guys as you say goodbye and continue to face each day with lots of love and lots of pain.

Carolina said...

Just catching up with your blog. What a beautiful post about your grandmother and the impact on your life. Her legacy will surely stand long after she is called to heaven. Sending you prayers and hugs!

Unknown said...

I'm not good with putting my thought into words and making it sound right. But what you have wrote is exactly how I feel and is such a beautiful tribute to our beloved Granny. I have tears running down my cheeks and having to stop every few seconds to even catch a breath reading and typing this now. We have so many wonderful memories with her that we can cherish forever. I can remember us girls when we were little always wanting to stay all night with her at the same time. We had so much fun over there. Making tents with her sheets and waking up to the smell of pancakes in the morning. I miss her so much already but I know she is in a much better place and we will all meet up with her again one day.
I love you cuz!

Sandy said...

Now that I'm back home and you are on your way again to remember and celebrate with your family Granny Hester's life and love in action to you all, I am catching up on your posts and asking God to bring wonderful memories, patience and forgiveness in the midst of stress, fatigue and grief, and gratitude, acceptance and healing to each of you as you reflect on her impact in your lives.

I am so glad to "know" Granny H through your sharing of memories.

Sandy said...

Very precious pictures....i especially love the ones of you and Sam with her.