Amazing how one phone call or one event can bring yhour life to a screeching halt - yet life goes on. My grandmother passed away almost 2 weeks ago and while her passing was very much anticipated (she had pancreatic cancer), actually hearing that she was finally gone still brought life to a standstill. I remember watching the van from the funeral home taking her body away from Memphis Jewish Home and I was still in disbelief. Pulling out of the parking lot one last time was so surreal - I felt like a tornado was swirling all around me and I was oblivious to everything else. (Ironically, the tornadoes hit Memphis the night of her viewing!) Those first few days afterwards were almost like an out-of-body experience. Emotions were all over the place like a pinball machine -- joy, sorrow (lots of that!), anxiety, love, patience, you name it. I thought I would be so relieved when she finally passed away because I was ready for her to go on home to heaven - to be pain-free, to see Papaw again, to see other brothers & sisters who went before her, and to see the multitude of friends waiting for her as well. I guess I didn't think about how I would really feel when all this would really come to pass. Yes - I am soooo happy for her, but I am even more sad for my own loss as well. She was basically my only grandmother - and I loved her dearly. She spoiled me rotten (as every grandparent should do!), made me insanely jealous of her cooking (never used a recipe!), and loved my kids more than anyone would have thought possible. I still tear up when Ava asks where "Gweat-Gweat" (Great-Great) is. I drive by the entrance to the Jewish home many times during the week, which serves as a constant reminder. I liked going to see her at night - when the day had calmed down. The last time I sat with her I just held her hand and "scratched" her arm - as she did to me and all the grandkids and great-grandkids countless times. She could wake up enough to say hi/bye and that she loved me, and to answer"no" when I asked her if she was in any pain.
My kids really miss her - especially Zachary and Josh. They were very close to her. I'm glad that they have special memories of her to hold on to. That was a hard week for them - for all of us - but we learned that life goes on.
The following Sunday, Josh was baptized. Yea Josh! He's asked Jesus into his heart oh, I don't know, 6 or 7 times by now? The kid is definately going to heaven!
I came back to work Tuesday....we leave for Orange Beach late tonight...school starts next Friday.
Life goes on...really it does...
In the midst of the "tornado", God is still good. There is a great peace. This peace assures me that I will see her again one day...that she is finally whole again and is no longer suffering. I can't help but wonder how people who have no hope handle situations like this. There must be such an overwhelming sense of loss and hopelessness. I'm glad that doesn't apply to me. I can't explain why God does what He does sometimes. It makes me question, but it doesn't make me love Him any less.
The storm has passed and we are putting our lives back together.
Because life goes on...really it does.