A Life Well-Lived

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I was blessed to be with my grandmother tonight when she took her last breath in this life and went home to be with Jesus. She would have been 98 in August and has been in good health up until just recently. My grandmother was a wonderful, loving, energetic, God-fearing woman who raised her three boys to serve God with their whole hearts. For her efforts, she left behind a legacy of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who love and serve God.

My grandmother never could quite admit that I’d grown taller than her (which isn’t saying much in the first place), claiming instead that she had shrunk. She played “farm animals” with me with a little plastic set of animals whenever I came to her house and she acted absolutely delighted when I gave her a set of her own for her birthday one year. We sang songs in the car together, rather than listening to the radio. One of our favorites was “Go Tell Aunt Dinah.”

She loved Chinese checkers and usually won, though sometimes she’s let me beat her at regular checkers. She could most often be found sitting on her couch, covered with a throw blanket, watching “her shows” (soap operas) or working crossword puzzles. She collected bells and lions since she, herself, was a Leo.

She always told me that I was the apple of her eye and I always believed that she meant it. She made the world’s nastiest tea, but always proclaimed it to be “the best tea in the United States of America.” It wasn’t. She loved chocolate and Little Debbie fig bars. She wasn’t too crazy about cats, but they sure loved her…or maybe they just jumped in her lap to irritate her, knowing that she didn’t want them there. And she loved my babies as much as they loved her.

She wouldn’t drink or eat after anyone until my little brother came along. I don’t know how he convinced her. Maybe he was just that cute. The only lie I ever knew her to purposely tell was about her age. She was quite content to let me believe that she was 39. I never knew her real age until she was in the hospital just before I got married and I saw it on her arm bracelet. She never learned to drive until after my grandfather passed away. Then, being the fiesty lady that she could be, she signed up for driving classes and got her license.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus welcomed her to Heaven tonight with open arms and lovingly told her, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” And, though we can only imagine, she has now seen Jesus face to face and is worshiping Him in Heaven with loved ones that’s she’s missed for so long.

I love you, Mamaw. We miss you already.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Thinking of you Kris and remembering your family during this time. This is a beautiful tribute to a life well lived and a woman well loved.

  2. Nothing like a good cry in the morning, my condolences to your family. I love that song, how fitting. Your Mamaw sounds like a wonderful soul and I'm sure she's feeling a freedom that fits her feisty spirit!

  3. What a wonderful post about your grandmother. Hold those memories close. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Oh, Kris. What a beautiful testament to your grandmother's life. My profession (besides being a wife, mother, and homeschooler) is nursing. I work in transitional care and long term care.

    Sometimes I've tried to explain to people what an honor it is to be there when someone goes home to meet Our Lord. It's not happy the way it is when there is a birth, and you see someone come into the world. But it's a privilege just the same.

    For someone to go home, surrounded by the family they love, and the love of God is especially…beautiful, if that's even the right word.

    Your family is in my thoughts. It's so hard to learn to live without someone we love. At the same time, my heart rejoices for your grandmother who is most certainly receiving her reward for her faithfulness, and is in the presence of the Redeemer.

    Peace to you.

  5. What sweet memories and a beautiful tribute. Sorry to hear of your loss, but also glad that you do not mourn as those without hope.

    Praying for you to find comfort!

  6. What a beautiful post for her. It's obvious that you loved her dearly and I'll pray for you in the days ahead.

  7. Wow! What a sweet, long legacy! Your family is really blessed! We'll pray for you guys to move through every feeling and memory smoothly. I almost just said "smoothy" there. I'm sure one of those couldn't hurt, either. For me, it'd be a sugar cookie or divinity. She made the best. Seriously!

  8. Oh Kris- What a beautifully written testimony of how much your grandmother meant to you and what a special lady she was. It made me think of my own future and the impact I will have on my grandchildren one day. My condolences to you as well.

  9. I'm so very sorry for your loss. You have written such a lovely tribute to your Grandma. Just beautiful!

    I am sending up some prayers for your family.

  10. Beautiful post about a beautiful life. Sounds like she and my grandfather will have a lot to talk about up there in heaven. What a blessing for you to be there just before she saw her Saviour face to face. ♥

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