While on vacation, Jake's grandma passed away. Really, it was a blessing, as she had been suffering for the last 15 months or so. It was last May that we were told she was going to die, but she hung on until just last week. Something Jake and I were concerned about was where she stood before God. For the longest time, she really had nothing to do with Him and didn't concern herself with the thought of meeting Him face to face. Then, she met her Hospice chaplain and all of that changed.
Christmas 2007 was the first time Grandma 'Laine had ever mentioned anything to me about God. I will never forget sitting in Jake's parents' house where his grandma brought up meeting this Baptist chaplain whom she surprisingly felt very connected to (she herself being raised Catholic, they obviously had very differing views). I walked away from our discussion encouraged that this man may be one of great influence on Grandma.
Never again were spiritual matters spoken of. So when we attended Grandma's funeral this last Saturday, my heart was heavy laden with fear that she really wasn't in peace. Then, Lee, her chaplain, got up to speak. What I appreciated so much is how well he knew Grandma 'Laine. Stories that he shared made it seem as if he had been a part of the family for years, rather than just a visitor in her home now and then. He took that one step further and asked where the grandson was who just had the twins. Jake raised his hand. Lee then looked at me and said, "I want you to know, Mom, that we prayed for you and those twins every time we were together. We practically willed those babies out of you and for you all to be safe. Whenever I asked Elaine how I could pray for her, she said, 'We have to pray for those twins.'" Jake and I were both moved to tears, feeling so loved and touched.
Lee continued to let us all know that Grandma is definitely in Heaven because she told him that often she wondered why she didn't die last year. He said that in the last couple of weeks before her death she said, "I now know why I didn't die a year ago. I wasn't ready then. But I am now." This brings tears to my eyes even now as I write. What a beautiful gift. Sometimes we have no idea why things happen the way they do. For the last year, I had such a hope that Grandma was surviving because God wanted her with Him and she needed the time to come to that. What an awesome, beautiful picture I have, thinking of her meeting her Maker for the first time.
People have said to me, "Some vacation!" when they have heard of all of the events that took place. No, it wasn't the vacation we had dreamed about. But it was one of the most beautiful gifts we've ever been given.