Grandma passed away yesterday, peacefully, finally. I'm grateful I was able to see her last year. I'm grateful that she is done and her suffering is over, but I am sad that I will no longer be able to talk to her or see her in this life.
Following is something I wrote today, in response to my father's request for remembrances of Grandma.
I am grateful for the legacy Grandma has left -- for fun memories, for the love and treasure of family, and for her faith and testimony that will stay with me for the rest of my life, and beyond.
Fun: When I think of Grandma, I think of Grandma and Grandpa's house, and of course, that means fun times. I think of fun memories of vacations to California, of family reunions, of the joy of being together. There was never a shortage of activities, music, food, and good time together. I remember a fun-filled week when just my sister and I got to stay at Grandma and Grandpa's house, to be the center of her attention. Our extended family has FUN when we are together, and Grandma opened her home and heart to facilitate the fun.
Family: When I think of Grandma, I think of the importance of family and of love. I always knew Grandma loved me. Even as distance meant that we didn't see each other often, she did things to express and show her love. She celebrated us on birthdays and other special occasions, wrote cards that I still have and treasure. She came to my wedding. Whenever we did see her, she always showed us her love through her actions and her words, showed us that family matters to her. I will always treasure sitting next to her last year, seeing her smile as she could hear the sounds of little ones around her, and seeing how much she wished she had more to give, wished that she could see and really be part of all that was going on. Oh, how she loves her family!
Faith: Perhaps most importantly, when I think of Grandma, I think of faith. I remember (and still have) a little lavender book of Bible verses given to me when I was baptized, with her firm and vibrant testimony written lovingly within. I remember Grandma and Grandpa's mission and the faithful letters they sent, and my mission and the faithful letters I received (all written by Grandma, if I recall). More recently, I remember watching her fulfill her calling as chorister while visiting her ward, even as the effects of age were obviously taking their toll. Through the past few years, she has not been afraid to talk about how difficult getting old has been, but I have seen her endure with patience and with faith. In one of my last moments with her last year, I gingerly fed her spoonfuls of yogurt and tried to communicate the love and honor that we feel as her posterity. She humbly and simply turned the praise to God, recognizing His love and goodness. Even now, as I recall that moment, tears come to my eyes, and my heart fills with gratitude for this good and faithful woman whom I am blessed to call my grandma.
God be with you 'til we meet again, Grandma. I love you.