My Grandma passed away last week and I just returned from her funeral, a celebration of a life well lived. Grandma lived to be 98 years old. She was a farmer’s wife, a mother of six, a long-time Home Economics teacher, and the embodiment of a woman of faith.
Grandma loved sports. She loved listening to baseball games on the radio, loved watching football games on TV, and loved watching her grandchildren compete in high school sports. As Grandma’s memory faded the last couple of years, she kept a handwritten list of the important people in her life. My Aunt Kay found the list after Grandma was done using it and saw that Grandma had carefully catalogued her children, grandchildren, extended relatives, neighbors, and friends. And there in the bottom right-hand corner were two more names: Peyton and Eli Manning.
Grandma loved hosting family gatherings every Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For Easter, Grandma would invite my cousin Michelle and me to help her decorate and dye dozens and dozens of hardboiled eggs. Grandma hid all of the eggs herself and then unleashed her eleven grandchildren on the annual Easter egg hunt. The hunt was immediately followed by Easter egg accounting. Invariably, we’d have found 94 of 96 hidden eggs. Or 105 of 108. And the hunt, now a search and rescue mission, would continue until all eggs were present and accounted for.
Grandma loved to sew. I spent many hours with Grandma in her sewing room, working on various 4-H projects. I enjoy sewing to this day and hear her voice every time I sew over a pin. “Never sew over pins. You could break the pin or the needle and a piece could fly into your eye.”
And Grandma loved her church. Her funeral service featured her favorite hymns and her favorite scripture, Psalm 23 . The pastor delivered a meditation entitled, “Pursued by goodness and mercy,” a meditation inspired by the last verse of Psalm 23 .
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
The meditation gave me a new appreciation of God’s goodness and mercy. His goodness and mercy aren’t lackadaisical. Goodness and mercy don’t merely follow us in our daily walk. Instead, we are actively pursued by goodness and mercy. All the days of our lives. And what a blessing that is.
I miss my Grandma, but I take great comfort knowing that she is dwelling in the house of the Lord. Forever.
~ Beth Hess