Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Grandma Sally

My mom's eulogy about my Great- Grandma Sally:
          "Let me start by saying Pastor Greg asked me to share a few stories about my grandma. Hesitantly, I wanted to say no- but really, how could I not? 90 years, really? So here are a few memories.
          My earliest memory of my grandma was the special drawer of her china hutch that held the fruit candy slices which I loved! We could have any except the yellow ones as those were her favorite!
          My grandma served as a nurse for over 40 years. When I was a young girl, on special weekends I would get to go with her to ARC where she would pass meds and care for the handicap. Oh how they loved her and she them.
The year I got my driver’s license was the same year that my grandfather got cancer- the freedom to drive then just seemed like an excuse to go somewhere but I see now that the Lord already had His hand on what I was watching. You see, I saw a wife caring for her husband. I watched her be love to him as she cared for and watched endless Harry Carry games with him even though she hated baseball! I now have also seen my mother model that same love for my father through his illness. My grandparents were married as many years as my parents are now; 42 years of precious love. My grandmother would describe Howie as “fresh.”
           She was an amazing seamstress. She made endless things from wedding dresses to many of her own clothes. She made beautiful satin pillow cases which we all have- she claimed this was how to keep a good hair do all week! She taught many to sew, including a special friend Judee. Judee says that it was in my grandmother’s home that she learned not only to sew beautiful things but how to love and be loved.

Her faith was something she stood firm on, and it was her home that I saw prayer modeled at every meal. As a wedding gift, my grandmother received a picture of Jesus looking down on the world over her bed. This stayed over her bed everywhere she moved until her last breath. That picture was very special to her and I would often talk with her about the comfort that praying brought her. Both of my grandmothers modeled the importance of church to me but growing up my parents really only went on Christmas and Easter- Chreasters, sometimes mother’s day too so we did not let grandma down. At this time I did not understand that I needed Jesus as my Savior. It wasn’t until 30 that the Lord called my name loud enough that I finally listened! My grandmother got to watch my conversion from just going to church to falling in love with Jesus. She saw that the words from my mouth, especially in the beauty shop where she would often say, “Tami, don’t say such things!” had truly changed. The language I used to speak- swearing and using the Lord’s name in vain had now completely changed to praise for His name and His death for me. The Lord in His divine plan left her with us for her to see an entire family changed for the glory of her Savior! She has seen her son in law, daughter, and grandchildren come to fall in love with her Jesus.
One day in the beauty shop years after my grandfather had died she had started going dancing with her friend Choc. She informed us all that if he wanted anything more from her that he needed to marry her. This chick was not ok with sex outside of marriage! Just as she did not know what would come out of my mouth, we never knew what would come out of Sally’s mouth either! She was our every Thursday morning entertainment in my beauty shop from when she drove herself and shouldn’t have been, always late and always some old persons fault as they drove too slow, to coming on the mini bus and they driver never drove the right way! It has been my most precious privilege to do this beautiful woman’s hair for 22 years, and to do her final one yesterday. She never missed a week of getting her hair and nails done. One day in the nursing home I asked her if the other ladies had someone come and do their hair to which she replied, “No, just the ritzy people!” For her 90th birthday I brought purple nail polish because she liked the color purple. She was really hesitant to let me put that on her nails as she was very worried it was too bright and inappropriate! My, how generations have changed.
I am sad to say that there have been many days I prayed for the Lord to take her home and out of her suffering. She survived so much- had one kidney, two times cancer, buried two husbands and a son, along with a very crooked spine with painful arthritis. She lived on her own until 89; still cooking, or as we would say, “regularly poisoning herself,” as a woman from the depression era who would never throw anything away. I am thankful the Lord did not answer my prayers because the years that He has left her here has shown me a soft side of her as she really finally allowed others to care for her and she was no longer in constant back pain which left her very short and snappy. I would regularly find her in her room in the nursing home staring at her picture of Jesus and she would say to me, “His eyes are amazing!” One of the many times she was very sick I had written a verse from Isaiah for her and put it on the wall next to her bed where she left it. Isaiah 46:4- Even to your old age and grey hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
It gives me such comfort to know my grandma understood her rescue came from Jesus’ death for her. He rescued her from this life into eternity on Sunday but not until she had completed all He had for her to do. Friday, the last day she was really awake, I went to be with her. As we had some precious time talking about what the Lord had waiting for her, she told me that she had suffered this long because He still had something left for her to do here. We prayed, we cried, and then her door opened. It was Patti the cleaning lady, to which she said, “Hi Sally, it’s just me Patti the cleaning lady.” My gram said, “Come here, I want to scold you.” She grabbed her hand and continued, “Every week you come in and say “it’s just me the cleaning lady,” but I want you to know you are not just that, you are my cleaning lady and I love you.” To which Patti replied with, “I’m sorry Sally, I won’t say that anymore.” My grandma then responded with, “and I am sorry I have not told you that. I have wanted to tell you for a while.” We were all in tears and as I told her goodbye, I said, “Gram, maybe that was the last thing here the Lord had for you to do.”
I could only pray that I will obey Him, be a faithful, loving wife and leave this legacy for my children and grandchildren and finish as well as she did.
I will be forever grateful to the Lord for Hospice and the staff at Luther Manor who were Jesus with skin on to my Gram when we could not be with her. Also to her incredibly faithful, patient, granddaughter Arianna who was a constant companion to grandma. They will never know how much this helped my mom when she could not be there.
I read this saying and it reminded me of her life, because her room could not have fit one more loved one in it as she passed away. This is what she passed down-
We’re a flash in the pan, all of us are, but once we are a mother we never stop reflecting God, mother love, the way we go to them when they call, the way we pass it down.
I tell you about it so you remember to watch how God presses into our lives with these children, children show us faith in our capacity to love.
Sometimes there is so much mess in the journey that we can’t see straight but even in the blur, even in the doubt, there is glory!
She is in glory today!"

No comments:

Post a Comment