Tuesday, November 5, 2013

all is well

My week in Utah with the kids was eventful. We saw lots and lots of family (all of my immediate family and many extended family that I got to know better), made tons of good memories, shared a few devastating ones, and were humbled by the goodness of fellow church members. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by my family (whom I haven't seen in over a year), but the circumstances were difficult. My grandma's funeral service was beautiful and lovely, but it left an emptiness inside me that is still present. I cannot seem to grasp that she's really gone...
She was so young at heart, so lively.
She had so much to do still- places to travel and people to see (me included).
She left a legacy that I will never be able to fill.

... I miss her every day.

My grandpa asked my mom, sister, and I to go through her jewelery. It felt strange to take pieces of her home, but I knew it would be what she wanted. I look at them constantly now, and try to feel her spirit. I laid them out on my bed and, one by one, tenderly placed each piece in my old jewelery box. The box was a gift from her when I was a child, and although its been highly manufactured and I see ones just like it at Goodwill all the time, I treasure it as gold. On the little glass door on the front of the box are etchings of roses- her favorite flowers. She had roses on everything- her favorite china, tablecloths, dresses, furniture, and accessories. One of the brooches I took home is a single golden rose, and it rests so delicately in my palm. When I hold it, I feel peace. I feel her beaming beside me, the lines around her smiling eyes crinkled up and her lips pressed tightly together- the face she makes before she is about to burst into tears of joy. I know that face well. My mom has the same face. And on occasion, so do I.

I miss her.

I've had friends lose grandparents before. I never understood their grief...as terrible as it sounds, I just thought at the time "At least they lived their life...at least they got to grow old. How is that so bad?" But now I get it....they may age older on the outside, but their hearts stay young. They have a special place in one's soul.

My grandma was not very old...still so young at 72. I never even considered that she would pass away as she was the liveliest person I knew. She was always up and doing something. She and her sweetheart Frank served three church missions together. They travelled all over the world, embracing all cultures and people. Every national park or monument or tourist attraction they saw together. When we lived in Idaho, we would often come to visit her in Utah and stay in her basement. Our excuse was that we needed to "get away", but really I just wanted to see her and show her how much little Talmage had grown. Boy did she love him...and when Charlotte was born she fell in love with her, too. She always said that she wished she could see them more often but "for now, cards for every occasion will have to do."

I can still hear her voice plain as day in my head...saying something along the lines of "Sweetie. That's just how the world works." She was always very matter-of-fact about things and didn't put up with other people's crap. She knew not everyone agreed with her and she was content with that, but she still wanted to be loved by those closest to her. Few people truly understood why she was the way that she was...heck, I didn't understand until after I was married. But once I reached that point, I loved her with every ounce of my soul.

We sang "Come, Come Ye Saints" as the closing song during the funeral. I haven't been able to stop thinking of the words...

Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
'Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell--
All is well! All is well!
Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
'Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we'll have this tale to tell--
All is well! All is well!
We'll find the place which God for us prepared,
Far away in the West,
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
There the Saints will be blessed.
We'll make the air with music ring,
Shout praises to our God and King;
Above the rest these words we'll tell--
All is well! All is well!
And should we die before our journey's through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again
To see the Saints their rest obtain,
Oh, how we'll make this chorus swell--
All is well! All is well!

I can just hear her singing these words and bearing testimony to their truth. 
This is her song. 
She lived these words. 
On her headstone, there is single rose etched under her name.
And in the middle, the words: "All is Well."

I miss her for only a moment measured in eternity, for we will be together again.


Myrna said...

That was beautiful, Lindsey! (Now that I have actually met you, I feel that I can comment!) You had a wonderful grandmother, and I am so happy that I had the chance to know her.

jjudkins said...

I guess I missed this blog. It's a sweet tribute to your grandma. I miss her too. I find myself wrapping my neck in a scarf she made or wearing some of her jewelry just to feel closer to her.