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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Celebrating Life {A Personal Post}

On Saturday, July 6th, my grandmother passed away.

She was the type of woman that as a young girl and even now, I aspire to be like her. Truly, a great representation of a Proverbs 31 woman. She survived through the Great Depression. She was married for many years until her husband passed. Together they raised three boys and took in a young girl from a struggling family. She worked many years for a local bank. For over a quarter of a century she taught Sunday school classes, many of these former students have talked of the mark she left on their lives. Mission trips to Haiti occurred on multiple occasions. She loved her family, spending many hours preparing for family gatherings. Lots of homemade ice cream, cake with a delicious homemade chocolate icing. Christmases full of traditions, like the reading of the Christmas story with all of the grand kids before opening presents. She made those around her feel special. A woman, with a truly giving and gentle spirit.

My grandmother was a wonderful woman. Unfortunately, a horrible disease took her away from me years before now. There are few things I hate, but there I two things that I truly do hate: cancer & Alzheimer's. My grandmother did not suffer from cancer, though I've had other family members battle with that disease. Somehow along the way she developed Alzheimers. This disease is just plain awful. I cannot imagine how it would be to see those around you to know them, but not. To have all those memories jumbled to not understand what's going on. I just cannot fathom.

I do know it's hard, very hard, to watch the woman you once knew become a shell of herself. To disappear into another time and place before you ever existed. To lose the magic that once lit her eyes. Alzheimer's is the worst.

Fortunately though, today is not about that awful disease. It's not a time of sorrow. Rather a time of celebrating the life that once was and the joy that comes with knowing where your going after this life has passed. I won't spend a lot of time preaching to any of you, but eternity is a long time it's nice to have assurance of salvation. A greater hope. Knowing that even the worst trails today won't last forever and there is something better.
Proverbs 31:10-31 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.  Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.  She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.  She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

13 comments:

  1. Christy,
    I have almost no words to share. As we speak my mother is in palliative care for Alzheimer's and cancer, so this post is almost too close to the bone for me. What I do want to say is, thank you for putting so eloquently what I feel. I am not sure I will be able to find the right ones when I need them. Your grandmother sounds like she was an exceptional woman, as is her granddaughter! Your tribute to her speaks volumes about both of you. May you find peace and comfort at this difficult time.
    Sidney
    Teachingisagift

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  2. I am so sorry for your loss, Christy. May God bless you in your time of grief and sorrow. It is never easy to lose a loved one, but to watch them slowly fade away is especially heart-wrenching. Take solace in the good memories and use the strength that you have developed during your grandmother's illness to help you through these early days. Prayers and blessings!

    Angela
    The Teacher's Desk 6

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  3. What a beautiful tribute to your beloved grandmother. I pray for peace for you and your family :)
    Lisa

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  4. Christy, I just found your blog- and what a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. She must be SO proud of you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing. I am so very sorry for your loss. She is whole again, now, and I am sure she is bursting with joy reading that post.
    Carolyn
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

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  5. Oh Christy, I wish I could have met your grandmother. She and my dad were from the same generation. Their sense of duty, service and sacrifice was unflinching. My dad was present and alert up until a few weeks before his death, and I am so thankful for that. It was heartbreaking to see him lost and withdrawn -I can't imagine how it must feel when you lose someone to Alzheimer's.

    I am sending love, prayers for peace, and a big hug!

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  6. Christy, What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. I have lost grandparents to both cancer and Alzheimer's and I know how nasty they can be. Hugs to you and your family!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

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  7. I'm so sorry for you loss, Christy! It sounds like your grandmother was an amazing woman. I know you'll treasure your memories with her for the rest of your life. I'll be praying for you and your family. :)

    Tessa

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  8. Prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. It sounds like your grandmother was someone very special, and to see her suffer, especially from Alzheimer's, is very difficult. My grandmother is in earlier stages, and I am so scared of what's still to come for her. Cherish the memories you have, and stay strong!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late
    Follow me on Facebook!

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  9. I am so sorry for your loss!! What a beautiful tribute you gave your grandmother here. I pray the Lord of all hope comforts you.

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  10. Oh, Christy! I'm so sorry! She sounds like an amazing woman! I'm keeping you and your family in my prayers!

    Diane
    Fifth in the Middle

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  11. I'm sorry Christy, my grandmother is beginning her decline and I understand what you went through. She's in a better place now. My heart goes out to you. <3

    -Maria
    Everyone deServes to Learn

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  12. I'm so sorry for your loss Christy, I too had a grandmother who has Alzheimer's and watching her progress through the different stages, until she was just a quiet, shell was absolutely awful. I hope you find comfort in knowing that she's in a better place now & smiling down on you & your loved ones.

    Stephanie
    PolkaDotPalace

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  13. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss and the struggle your grandmother must have faced these last few years. Your grandmother sounds like she was a wonderful woman and hopefully you have many happy memories to help you get through this hard time.

    Love to Learn

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