When I first heard that there was a large mass moving towards my grandmother’s heart or lungs and there was nothing they could do it about it, I cried. She was given 2 weeks to 2 months. It was too short. Too soon. I could not, cannot imagine a world without my grandmother.
I texted my husband, because speaking those horrible words out loud on the phone was just too much. It was too real and too raw. Writing was easier.
We planned to head up north that weekend and see her.
I cried that afternoon while I rocked my daughter to sleep. I cried while I held her sleeping body and I cried when I put her down.
Then, I went into my kitchen, this insatiable desire to cook, to make something, to bring them food, to make things better. I rummaged through my cupboards; thinking of what I could make that was nourishing and healthful, but appetizing.
Suddenly, I stopped. I was in the kitchen, thinking of my grandmother, wanting to make something for someone else.
This was exactly what my grandma would do.
She thrived in the kitchen, a trait that was passed on from her mother, to my mother and now, apparently, on to me. And what big shoes do I have to fill. Those Craig/Maile ladies can COOK. I mean, they know how to make the best food and anyone who knows them will tell you that.
As I tried to find ingredient for some banana bread muffins (healthy and hearty for grandma, a touch of sweet for grandpa) I thought of all the times I had seen her pull out food from the depths of her seemingly bottomless freezer to feed anyone who visited.
I thought of the time that she came to visit me in Virginia and brought lake – caught fish for a fish fry. She bought me a turning fork, because I did not have one, and you need one to make fried fish how she does.
My Grandma cooking in my kitchen with my mom., lacking a good turning fork.
I thought of her “ Happy Birthday, Jesus” cake that she insisted that she make every single Christmas night and that we would read the same reasons for the cake every single time. By this time of Christmas night, everyone was full and cake was the last thing that we wanted to eat, but we dutiful went along with her birthday celebration.
There are a thousand more stories and memories that I have, that I cherish. My grandmother has been the grandmother to many, not just her own biological children. She is grace, love and peace personified. I truly cannot imagine a world, my world, without her.
Time is drawing near for her. It is down to days now. Sweet, precious hours.
The only saving grace about this whole situation is that I know my grandmother and I know her Savior. I know where she is going and I know that I will see her again.
While I don’t know how I will be able to go about tomorrow or the next week or next Christmas. I don’t know what I will do when I need to decipher Grandma Craig’s famous pumpkin pie recipe and I can’t call her. I don’t know how any of my family will do, but I do know this. My hope is found in nothing less than Jesus. In the depths of my sadness, I am still at peace.
My grandmother was a living example of pure love and you saw Jesus through her, every day.
My hope and prayer is that one day I may be able to be like her.
* I wrote this post in the afternoon of March 3, 2014. Hours later my sweet, wonderful grandmother slipped peacefully into eternity. She is whole and complete, meeting her Jesus that she faithfully served for years. I love you Grandma and I miss you terribly all ready...
Four generations. I love the picture so much. It was the last time I saw my Grandmother. My daughter was able to be with her GiGi one more time. This picture is crooked and my grandpa's bald head is in it. I am sitting oddly, as to not put any pressure on my frail grandma. It is still perfect.