Sunday, October 30, 2011

It Isn’t Goodbye…

“On the final day I die I want to hold my head up high. I want to tell You that I tried to live it like a song. And when I reach the other side I want to look You in the eye and know that I've arrived, in a world where I belong.” Where I Belong by Switchfoot


This past Thursday, October 27th, my sweet grandma went to be with Jesus. She was blessed with a long life of 91 years, almost making it to her 92nd birthday in January. She truly outlived everyone’s expectations; she was a strong woman. While we knew that she probably didn’t have much longer it still took us by surprise. I guess it’s just one of those things that you can never fully be prepared for.

In the last few years of her life she had developed dementia and pretty much lost most of her ability to remember and communicate. This was so hard for me, I was so used to being able to spend time with her and talk to her. In a lot of ways, I feel like I mourned the loss of her then. Even before she passed away, I already missed her. Especially when I would go through hard times I would always think how comforting it would be to go sit next to my grandma or my grandpa (who passed 6 years before her) and just give them a hug & talk to them. 

But I thank God that he blessed me with such an amazing grandma as Lupe Rodriguez. We were so blessed to have her with us for as long as we did. She was such a special woman, the kind where no one has anything but good memories of her. My sister & I were very close to her and have a wealth of great memories to cherish. She lived to serve God and her family. And she was such a rock to all of us.

My grandma was a praying woman. If you needed prayer for anything you could always call on her. She would write down all the prayer requests in her notebook and pray for them every morning. I really cherish that legacy of prayer that she left to our family and the example she was to all of us.

The photo I posted above is one of my favorites of her. It was taken a really long time ago but it shows her doing one of the things she loved to do most; cooking great food in her kitchen for her family. (In this photo she is also wearing a cute vintage looking apron that my sister & I now have.)  She was an amazing cook and made the most delicious homemade tortilla’s & Mexican food you’ve ever tasted! I hope to one day be able to make tortilla’s the way she did. Her Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners will probably always live in our family’s memories! Her dressing was a classic to us! And we all try to imitate it but can never seem to get it quite like hers.

She even had a tradition for Halloween that our whole family loved. Every Halloween we would all go to her house and pass out candy while enjoying sandwiches, chips, popcorn balls, and my dad’s “green punch”. This is a tradition that her mom started and she kept it up for all of us. So tomorrow, even though she can’t be with us, we will still enjoy this tradition.

I could probably go on and on about all the wonderful memories I have of her and how great she was. I truly feel honored to have been her granddaughter. I was so blessed to have been loved by her.

Today was her funeral and in her honor I wore the pearl necklace she gave me years ago. It was nice to wear something that she had worn many times before; a small piece of her memory close to my heart.

Even though I really miss her, I praise God that I have the hope of seeing her and my grandpa again one day. It makes my heart happy to think of the beautiful reunion her & my grandpa must have had. I know they are both finally home – whole, healed, free, and in the place they really belong. And because of this, I do not feel like I’m really saying goodbye at all, it’s just see you later.

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” - Philippians 1:21

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