I hardly know how to write a worthy follow-up to my brother’s excellent post, but I’m going to share a little bit of my heart on this day.
My Grandma Beattie was a very remarkable, dear woman. A number of things stick out to me about her. She was very sweet and gentle, yet she was incredibly determined and spunky. She was in a disastrous car accident as a young woman which broke her neck. The doctors told her she would not walk again, but she was resolved that in a few months when she married my grandpa, she would walk down the aisle. She did. She sported a big metal brace and a limp, but she stood on her own feet.
Knowing her much later, I remember being very impressed with how active she was. Grandma was a very active, athletic person before the accident, and even afterwards, although she was a lot more limited in what she could do, she happily gave herself to whatever she could put her hands to. She sewed and quilted all the time for charities, and did beautiful work. Even around the house, if there was something she could do herself, she would do it herself. One particularly fond memory I have of her was when my 6’4″ dad was getting a little “too helpful” in setting the table for dinner, and with a few words, this little, thin, partially paralyzed woman informed him in no uncertain terms that she could take care of it. And that was quite the end of the matter. 🙂
In case it isn’t obvious already, Grandma was very, very sharp mentally. Although she was quiet enough that she didn’t speak up a whole lot about things, when she did, it was always wonderful. She didn’t beat around the bush. She told it like it was.
What impresses me most about her, though, is how unwaveringly true she was to Jesus. From an outside viewpoint, it would seem that she had every opportunity in the world to lose faith and to become a bitter, jaded person with no joy or hope. But she remained a loving, kindhearted, faithful woman to the end. She loved Jesus all the way through. And that’s a beautiful (and rare) thing.
I’ll miss her a lot. I already do. But I know that I will see her again. And when I do see her, she’s going to be able to extend her hand and have full feeling in it. She won’t be struggling with a giant metal brace. She’ll be able to run and jump and be as active in her body as she was in her mind and heart.
Adam already pointed out in his blog about where our comfort lies in times like these. Our comfort is that in a moment, at the last trumpet, we will be caught up together with Christ in the air. Death is tragic — always — but praise God, for those of us who love Him, it is not forever. It is the “last enemy” which will be crushed under Jesus’ feet (1Cor 15:25-26).
I wanted to leave you with a picture, taken in the summer of 2006 at my last visit to see my grandparents. It’s not a great shot, because Grandma wasn’t especially fond of being on camera and so I had to be kind of sneaky about it. But I think it’s worth posting to honor a lovely lady who lived her life well and has now gone to be with the Lord.
We’ll miss you, Grandma. See you again someday soon…