Amazing Grace: From Generation to Generation?

The earliest memories I have of her are nearly forty years old by now.   I’ve seen pictures of the two of us together during that time when I was tiny, her with a face so smooth and young-looking.  I was her second grandchild, and she was barely older than I am now.  We sang songs together: Jesus Loves Me, I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb, and others.  When my family came from Missouri to Idaho to visit her on vacation, I remember attending her church, at Mother-Daughter events and family reunions and weddings.

She wrote me letters when I was young, and I wrote back.  She told stories of everyday things, how Gramp’s crops were doing that year, and how her garden was doing, what she was sewing, and which friends of my mother’s she’d seen lately.  Once in high school I wrote her one letter almost entirely in German, and she delightedly wrote me back, also in German. I also remember singing Silent Night in German with her.  Hers was the first letter I got in my new dorm room my freshman year of college, and she was one of the first visitors after John and I got married and bought our first house.

Her faith was quietly ever-present, but the strength of it became even more obvious to me as she grew older and began to decline.  In those last years her aches and pains were many, her abilities few.  Her fragile spine was so bowed that she could barely sit up.  But she kept a list in her Bible of all the people for whom she was praying, and somehow still she would find a way to get herself to the piano regularly where she would sit down to play hymns.  There before the ivory keys her hands and arms regained a grace from years gone by, a grace that spoke of many happy hours in her life spent there.  She would play hymn after hymn after hymn, singing along in her tremulous voice, while I stood close behind her shoulder singing too, both of us praising our Saviour.

Her body was oh so fragile.  But her soul, the core of her, was more robust than ever, loving music, loving her family, looking joyfully forward to meeting her Saviour someday soon.  Outwardly she was wasting away, but inwardly she was being renewed day by day.

Some of the last moments I spent with her were in her hospital room in the wee hours one night, where I sat watch for awhile to give my mother and my aunts a bit of sleep.  She slept, and I dozed next to the bed in a chair, until I heard her tiny voice, with barely enough breath to make sound.  I leaned close quickly, wondering if I could adjust a pillow for her.

But then I realized she was singing.  Full of peace even in the valley of the shadow of death, literally praising her Saviour in the dark of the night.  She went to see Him just a few days later.

There are folks who are full of bravado, disdaining their need for a Saviour, thinking that there is nothing beyond.  I wish they could have seen my grandmother.  Hers was a faith worth having.  One that rested not in her own strength, but in the all-sufficiency of Jesus who died to wash her clean from all her sin.  I pray for faith like that to surround my children all their lives, in the form of relatives and friends who care enough to pray and support and steadily point the way, especially if there are moments when my precious ones might feel too beleaguered or bewildered to pray on their own behalf.

There IS a God, a God who can saves, who can speak to our hearts, give peace, allow end days to be filled with a certain knowledge.   And I was never more certain of that than when watching my grandmother in her last days.  I know that my Redeemer lives.  My grandmother is with Him now.  And someday I will be too.

Praise Him.

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{ 20 Comments }

  1. It’s such a gift, isn’t it? And I just changed my title, since we were thinking along the same wave lengths. I sent through an email. 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey with your grandmother. I can relate on every level through my grandparents. I can only hope to provide the same gift to my children and someday, grandchildren.

  3. Beautiful. So wonderful that you had her to love and look up to.

  4. What a legacy of love and faith. How blessed you are to have had her.

  5. Lovely. Just lovely.

  6. What a beautiful eulogy. my condolences!

  7. Wow, that’s really beautiful! And so striking to see how much you look like her!

  8. Savannah Hubbard says:

    Such a blessing to have had a matriarch like her in your family. You are carrying on the legacy. God bless you!

  9. What a beautiful tribute!

  10. I love this post. I had a grandmother like that too and it was such a blessing. Know what? You have your g’mother’s smile!

  11. Sarah Mullin says:

    This post made me go and play some hymns on her piano I inherited. Thanks for the sweet memories of Granny, Mare.
    Love you
    Sarah

  12. Love it! I have a special memory similar to that too. Mom and her sibs were out for dinner, and I got to be with Granny when she went to be with Jesus. She was in and out of consciousness, but I got to sing and read psalms to her. Precious. What a legacy!

  13. Thank you for blessing me with this post and photo, Mary!

    God’s Peace to you and yours!

  14. Thank-you for sharing your grandmother with us. Lovely, beautiful, strong and courageous. Lovely tribute to a wonderful lady.

  15. Loved this, Mary! Thanks for sharing!
    I’m assuming this pic is you, your mum and your grandma. Your daughter (Erika?) looks so much like your Mum!

  16. Beautiful Mary! I was also blessed w/ a wonderful Godly grandmother. She just passed away at almost 104. So grateful for the extra years God allowed us to have with her.

  17. What a tribute to your grandmother . . . and I think your mother is beautiful too (and you look so much like her!). I pray that we will be just like our grandmothers someday. My grandmother was very ill in her last 2 years of life, but prayed for each of her 11 children, their spouses, and her 40+ grandkids and their kids every single day. What an example of faithfulness!

  18. Such sweet memories!! Thanks, Mary. Beautifully written.
    Love, Rach

  19. I didn’t want to do it, but you went on and made me cry! loved this post!

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