Monday, May 12, 2008

Thank you, It is well.....

"Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and your faithfulness reaches unto the clouds."
Psalm 36:5

I wanted to take a minute to thank this wonderful blogging community for the love, support, prayers, and friendship during my time of loss. It means the world to me, these virtual friendships that have formed and buoyed me up during this little life storm. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I have to say that all is well. I know it seems too soon to say so but I truly think I was prepared before hand. After my last visit with my grandmother in her home I just had this feeling that her time would soon be coming to a close here on earth. When preparing an essay for a writing contest, the Lord moved me in another direction and I wrote about her instead of my original subject. At the time it felt like I was letting go and saying goodbye. I shook it off and dismissed the thought. When she entered the hospital I had a knowing certainty that she would not recover. I knew the exact day and time I was needed as I stood in the place of her daughters, who could not bear to watch her draw her last breath but did not want her to be alone. I knew as I held her hand for two hours and nine minutes as her body slowly shut down that this was my final act of loving kindness to her. I knew the exact moment she was absent from the body and in the presence of the Lord and it was well with her soul.

Being able to blog a bit about it has helped tremendously. It is my nature to write out my feelings, putting pen to page as emotions pour forth until they or the ink run dry. It is my form of therapy, my emotional release. Thank you all for bearing with me even though my recent posts have been a bit heavy, life gets that way sometimes and it will be reflected in my blog. I'll soon get back to the fluff and stuff, I just need a bit more processing time.

I am relating much to Horatio G. Spafford , who penned the words of the famous hymn, It is Well With My Soul, in feeling the grief and loss of personal tragedy, only on a much smaller scale that he. Following the loss of his only son to scarlet fever, the great Chicago fires wiping out his real estate investments, and the tragic loss of his four remaining children in a ship wreck at sea, he could still rely on his faith and say, "It is well with my soul." The words he wrote for this hymn are based on Scripture, 2 Kings 4:26, and they echo the response of the Shunammite woman to the sudden death of her only child. It says that although, "she was vexed in her soul", she still maintained that , "It is well." Mr. Spafford's song reveals a man whose trust in the Lord is as unwaivering as hers was. This is how I too am able to utter, "It is well."
Even in the midst of loss, grief, and sadness there is still life and laughter. My grandmother adored children, for thirty four years she worked in her local school district, and she got the most fun from watching them and hearing all the cute stuff they say. At the visitation people poured forth to honor this grand lady who had meant so much to their community. Many children were present to say good bye to Ms. Lucille. I noted as we sat watching that the young ones were extremely curious and tiptoed forward to take cautious peeks over the edge of the casket. I got tickled and giggled. My grandmother would have love it! If she could have she would have ushered forth a breathy, "BOO!", and laughed when they were startled. I was not the only one to notice as I heard others around me say, "She would have loved seeing those children peek at her and she would have delighted in surprising them with a "boo!". The children being present, being respectful yet curious, knowing she would have loved it, it was well.

I have to tell you about an incident at the grave site. I wore a dress and a pair of heeled sandals, no hose, as is the fashion these days. Thinking absolutely nothing of my appearance or the lack of pigment in my skin off I went . Let me insert here that I am truly one of those lily white Southern Belle's. My mother, my daughter, and myself have what is termed fine porcelain skin. We are white! We do not tan, we burn to a crisp. We get freckles and that is the closest to a tan we come. We are an odd mixture of pigments in our family. My grandmother was of Native American descent. Her skin was always more olive and her hair very dark. My uncle was of the same coloring. My two aunts are of medium color in hair and skin pigment, while my mother has a bit darker hair but extremely fair skin. I ended up extremely fair with jet hair and none of that beautiful olive skin!

The final words have been said and all the friends and relatives are milling around catching up on family news, offering condolences, and sharing sweet memories, it is well.
Out of the blue a tiny old lady with a cane approaches me and asks me who I am. I tell her my lineage, "I am Sandy, daughter of Carolyn, who is Lucille's oldest daughter." She looks me over as if to inspect me and see if I will do or not, shakes her head firmly, I think I have passed inspection.

She suddenly juts her cane forth poking at my leg, like a teacher would use a pointer to direct ones attention to something. She looks at me and says, "Them's the whitest legs I've ever seed! You must never git out in the sun!" Startled, I replied, "I don't tan. I have no pigment in my skin to tan. I just burn and get freckles." She looked at me sharply and poked her cane at her young (16ish) great grand daughter(who looked like a very overdone piece of toast!) and said, "Well, you need to do what Hailey here does. You NEED to git to the tannin' bed right quick!" I cracked up, all the tension of the day found sweet release, laughter rang forth as my granny and I had our last giggle together and it was well.
Aside from the white skin we also have propensity to look younger than we are in my family, which is a huge blessing at my age! (Perhaps this is because of our inability to tan so our skin is not wrinkled from the sun.) No one thinks I can possibly be a grandmother(I am and proud of it), that my son can be married (has been for seven years)and is a father(of an on almost two year old), or that my daughter is any older than 12 (she will be twenty soon). We are at the church that prepared a meal for the family. My son and daughter are standing in line. One of the hosts looks up at her and grabs a big bowl of chicken nuggets. He announces, "We made these special just for you youngns', have some." She politely declines as her brother breaks forth in laughter and teases her about chicken nuggets and being a young kid. We think granny would have loved this and we laugh over the retelling of it and it is well.

All in all, the flowing of sweet memories, the bits of joy, the moments of sorrow, the pangs of grief, the ability to laugh, the stream of tears, the continuing on of life, it is well.

Much Thanks and Many Blessings,
Miss Sandy

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Miss Sandy,

Glad to hear you are doing well and just love what you wrote. I can just imagine the children at the funeral. Take Care and I'm thinking of you. Vicki Page

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Oh I knew that there would be laughter...just knew it. Thank you for collecting your thoughts and getting them written down. You are so very good at that. (I, on the other hand, have people reading between the lines all over the place. LOL!)

Loved reading more about your grandmother and the children. You're so right, she would've enjoyed the moment. And who's to say that she didn't? I believe that great cloud of witnesses ever cheers us on!

Now go find a tanning bed...ROFL!

The Feathered Nest said...

What a beautiful post Sandy!! You always take us on a wonderful journey ~ through tears, laughter and peace....you are so talented sweet friend. I loved learning more about your grandmother...and you!! I'm so glad you are doing good, pale, but good :) much love to you! xxoo, Dawn

Mary Isabella said...

This was truly a well written post expressing your thoughts and feelings. I am still praying for you and your family....Mary

Rosa said...

Hi Miss Sandy,
It's great to know your grandmother was very well loved.
Love the funny tidbits you included in your post. I'm sure your grandmother is smiling down on you wherever she is!
Hugs,
Rosa

kathi~lavender, lace and thyme said...

Dear white legs....LOL! Miss Sandy, how wonderful you've found laughter in such a sad time. It is well with my soul, wonderful song. I think you've covered every emotion in your post today, how wonderful of you to share! My prayers are with you!

Kathi :)

Joanne Kennedy said...

It's memories filled with laughter that will carry you along. Your grandmother sounds like a lovely person and it's clear that you loved her dearly.

What a wonderful blessing you had to be there with her as she left this world and went home to be with God.

Hugs,
Joanne

aselah said...

Sandy,

This entry is a wonderful tribute to the faithful, loving kindness of our Lord. I am ever thankful that He wove moments of levity and even joy into the fabric of your loss. It is His way to remind us that weeping may endure for a night, BUT . . . .

May His comfort enfold you as you find as memory takes us residence within you.

Fete et Fleur said...

I love the white legs incident. My hubby is so white he glows in the dark. Seriously! I'm so glad that your heart is at peace. I wish the same for the rest of your family.

Blessings! Nancy

Lori said...

Miss Sandy, from tears to laughter you have brought me today...your grandmother had to be so proud of the wonderful woman that you are: wise, honest, funny as can be, and a true believer in God and his promises...you are a treasure here and i am glad to have found you:)

sarah said...

Laughter is definitely good for the soul - especially in times of grief. It helps us remember with love, share with wisdom and be filled with grace in the moment.

marye said...

What a blessing to be with your grandmother when she went on to eternity. I was with my mom, so I do somewhat understand. It was an amazing gift.

Edie Marie's Attic said...

All so beautifully said Miss Sandy! God bless you and your family and delight you with the wonderful memories you have of her!
Hugs, Sherry

Judy said...

Wonderful memories of your final farewell to your grandmother...and a chuckle or two is just what you needed!

Helen Read said...

As you always do, you have expressed so well your thoughts and emotions. Thanks, Sandy, for your lovely tribute!

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