Good-byes are hard. I've been getting some practice doing just that. Saying good-bye to friends in Memphis, goodbye to our teammates for the summer, goodbye to Shawn for his trip to Oz... Most of the time, you know that somehow you'll see, or hear from, the one you're saying good-bye to. So, although it's good-bye, there's still a hope of seeing that person again.
Recently, I had to say good-bye to someone very special. Someone for whom this good-bye just might be the last. Someone who's had a deep impact on my life, both physically and spiritually. Needless to say, this good-bye has been the hardest, the most cutting.
If you've spent much time with me, you've probably heard about Grandma Grace, aka Gram. She took me to church when i was little and spent the night at her house. She tricked me in to massaging her feet by saying they needed some lotion on them. Most of all, she loved Jesus and she loved me. To me, she was an outpouring of love for everyone. She was also an example of endurance through hard times. I have lots of Gram-isms... one that i often think of is, "keep on, keepin' on"... I love my Gram. I said good-bye to her a couple days ago. A good-bye that might be forever. How is that okay? How do i just walk away? My heart aches to think, to understand that this pillar of my life may not be here when i come back to visit. it breaks at that thought, that thought that doesn't go far from my mind.
But there's more than ache in my heart. There's an amazing sense of thankfulness. I praise God that Gram is part of my life. She helped shape who i am. I shout for joy that my children know her, have experienced her love and gentleness (and sometimes not-so-gentleness). I am greatful that she has touched our lives.
I pray that she'll be making homemade apple sauce and mac-n-cheese when we visit MI again. But no matter what, i'll know her love for God has showered on many lives, her acts of service have lightened many loads, her stories have guided many paths, and mostly i'll know, i am loved by a very special lady.
Sometimes good-byes are very hard indeed.
especially when you don't know if there's another hello in the future.