My mom called me last night to say that my grandma, her mom, had died. She had been slipping away for a long time, really -- sinking into herself as the pathways in her brain became more and more disordered, and she was like a child, lost somewhere in the tangled branches.
The first time I remember noticing her forgetfulness we were visiting her and Papa Neal in Florida. She kept asking me what grade I was in. My smile would falter, but I would tell her. That was only the beginning of a long, downward spiral as she sunk deeper and deeper into the murkiness.
Today, though, I do not want to remember that. I want to remember her ever-present cheerfulness. A smile the sparkled in spite of the abandonment, poverty, and tragedy that characterized her childhood. The love she found in the Father, and around the table at the Mitchell House. I want to think about how she was artistic - the beautiful Santas she painted and gave away to us all. It is from her, through my mom, that I think I got the sewing bug. Within the last year, I was given a bunch of her old sewing stuff - buttons, thread, some old material. In it I found these beautiful wooden spools of colorful thread. For some of them, she had hand drawn some little animal heads and animal tails and glued them to either end - a homemade menagerie probably made to entertain a child or grandchild.
So today I remember the wonderful, Godly woman she was and also :"...that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, NOR ALZHEIMER'S, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
When I die, don't cry for me
In my Father's arms I'll be
The wounds this world left on my soul
Will all be healed and I'll be whole.
Sun and moon will be replaced
With the light of Jesus' face
And I will not be ashamed
For my Savior knows my name.
It don't matter where you bury me,
I'll be home and I'll be free.
It don't matter where I lay,
All my tears be washed away.