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.
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.