Through the years, I have often written about the adventures of my Grandma. If you have the privilege of knowing her, you know how remarkable she is. Hazel has traveled the world, been to all 50 states, had an audience with the pope, ridden a dune buggy on a volcano, raised four boys, taught Sunday School and is living a full life. But now she is writing the final chapter of her story. At the age of 98 1/2 years, Grandma is slowing down rapidly.
No longer can she hop in the car to go on a new adventure, go shopping for Christmas presents or work on another quilt. So today, I share this letter that I have been thinking about with you.
I know you’re hurting and we both know you are feeling the effects of almost 100 years on earth. Your body is tired and not cooperating, and you no longer get to enjoy the things you’ve always loved. But you still are teaching me so much.
Last night as I sat beside your bed and rubbed your head, I told you that you were teaching me things and you looked shocked. After all, what can you teach me now when you are almost unable to get out of bed.
You are teaching me how to care for my elders in a way that I’ve never understood. I never realized that it can be an honor to share these last days with you and do things that I would have deemed uncomfortable just months ago.
You are teaching me how to be patient in pain. I know you are hurting, but you still exhibit more grace than I would have imagined possible.
You are showing how that even in your final times of life that you can be grateful. When you tell your caregivers thank you and light up with excitement over a fresh brownie or chocolate chip cookie, you remind me to be thankful for the little things in life. When a friend brought you a snow globe and we placed it in your room next to a little Christmas tree, you were so thankful for the simple gifts and showed excitement for the season.
You are still planning Christmas presents because you love the act of giving. Even though you can no longer go shopping, you still want the people you love to have something special during this holiday season.
Though your body is no longer cooperating, you still love and care for your children, grandchildren, greats and those you have accepted as your own. You have a strong relationship with your great grandkids and still light up with excitement when they walk in the door. All I have do is mention their names and you perk up wanting to know about their latest ball game, activities or antics.
When I asked you for your favorite Bible Verse, you showed that your love for God and your deep faith don’t falter as you are facing the last chapter of life. You quickly started quoting “For God so loved the world…. that He Gave….” Though you are understandably nervous about the journey of going to Heaven, you do have confidence in the ONE who has promised to walk with you.
I don’t know how much longer you can stay with us here and we will miss you when you move to Heaven, but we know that you are confident of your new destination.
Maybe we’ll have many more experiences together, but if not, know that you are still teaching us so many things and your life is making a difference!
A few years ago, we were sitting at a restaurant eating an icecream cone and Grandma got to talking about how she compares the trip of going to Heaven to the experience of leaving on a cruise ship. For those of you who know and love Grandma, I thought today we could all appreciate and enjoy this little video clip.
Want to watch more video interviews with me and Grandma that she has done over the past few years? Just click here to watch the full playlist and enjoy hearing from Hazel about her hobbies, adventures and memories!