It truly is astounding how much one life can hold. How much it can mean. To them. To their family. To friends and others loved and blessed. When you meet someone who possesses the pure love of Christ, who radiates Charity is thought word and deed, you know it. You feel it. You taste it. In just being in their presence you are made better. More. Blessed. Loved. A window opens into the heavens and you catch a gimps of what Heavenly Parents must be like. Of what you will feel like in Their presence. So richly blessed.
If we are fortunate, we may have each known a handful of people that filled such noble ranks. I know I have. Each one of those people have left indelible marks upon my very soul. Upon who I am and who I am striving to become. They make me better. Right now, one such noble creature lays in a hospital bed. She is a Mother, a Grandmother, a Great-Greandmother, a Sister, a Neighbor, a Friend, an Example, and a Wife to a Husband who has been gone already for twenty years. She is a Saint. By that, I do not mean to imply she is perfect. She is not. But, she is amazing. She is my Grandmother.
She taught me to love nature. Walks in the mountains and picnicks. Cherries picked and then eaten from her wonderful tree. Apricot picking and jam making messes. Finding the perfect leaf to lay under a paper for tracing. She taught me to love fun. Jumping rope with a young granddaughter. Playing jacks on the kitchen floor. Sorting pennies – ever so many of them – along the beautiful white stone mantle. Coloring with pencils found in an old metal cookie tin. She taught me to serve. Graves cleaned and decorated with flowers, petals, pine-cones, and the most special of treasures – love. Goodies delivered. Phone calls made. Foil carefully removed from every fancy envelope, saved to give to children to decorate bottles into vases for our mothers – her daughters. Missions – called and not. Adopting into people that hold no ties of blood, but ties of fellowship and caring. She taught me the glory of music. Bedtime songs made up and sung just for me when I spent the night. Beautiful chimes in her grandfather’s clock. The voice of an angel. The hands of a violinist. The same lovely melodies played out on the piano. Encouraging us all as we shared our feeble attempts on the stage of her mantle – acting as if it were her own private Carnegie Hall. She taught me respect. For God – I treasure her testimony higher than silver, gold, or gemstones. For family – everyone. For her – she respected herself and showed us how. For prophets and apostles – in her home, at her knee. She taught me faith. Faith in God to follow His plan, even when it hurts or is hard. Faith in others and their ability to change. Faithfulness to her husband – to follow his lead, to play along with his silliness, and to wait patiently until she will see him again.
She taught me. But she taught so many others as well. Her example was that light on a candlestick giving light to all of the rest of us. She has bravely held that candle high. She lifts us all. She is my hero. I love her charming smile, her gentle hands, her memories and dreams. I don’t know what will happen to her today or tomorrow. I may yet have her with me in mortality for years and years to come – she certainly is spunky enough! She may be gone before I even get this posted tonight. Gone home to her husband, whose arms she will run to without the constraint on her frail physical frame. Home to her parents, her brother, her friends, all who went on before her and whose memories she has kept so alive. Home to her Savior, whose name she has testified of so very many times. Home to her Heavenly Father, in whom she has such un-shaking faith. Home to her Heavenly Mother that I think she will be very much like. Home. To peace. To joy. I love her here, I will always love her there as well. I hope she knows I love her and I hope she feels my prayers.
I love you Grandma. Thank you for always being our family’s strength. You are our rock. We treasure you. I made this image for you. It filled me with the Spirit to think of your greatness, even now at this time of sunset for you. You are magnificent and I thank you for sharing your light with me.