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Friday, October 28, 2016

Cigarettes, Friendship, and Love: A Beautiful Legacy.

My sweet great-grandma went to be with Jesus yesterday. I wrote a version of this post two years ago after calling her on her birthday, and it felt like the perfect thing to share today. 

If you read the post below, you'll see that she's spent over thirty years being faithful to her late husband, not so much as dating anyone else because she loved him so, so much. 

Today, she got to wake up next to him. If there's sleep in heaven I take that back...there is definitely sleep in heaven. Anyone who has ever had a good night's sleep can agree that it's a gift straight from above. She got to see her parents, who she's missed for such a long time. 

While it feels so sad to know that she's not here anymore, it brings me such sweet joy to know that she is with the love of her whole entire life. She loved him long after death-did-they-part, and now death has brought them back together. 

I've also been thinking about the great legacy she leaves behind. Her son, my grandpa, married the love of his life and had a beautiful family. That's all thanks to her. His son, my dad, has done incredible things with his life and touched so many people. Also thanks to her. Me, my brother, and now Jack...anything we do, any legacy we all leads back to her. Man, that's a beautiful thing. 

I love you, Grandma. I hope you know what an amazing life you created. xo


June 2nd, 2014:

My great-grandma recently turned 91, and when I called to tell her happy birthday, she cracked me up with the candor she spoke with.

She answered the phone by saying, "Yep.  I'm gonna die soon." And then laughed and laughed like she had shared an old joke and not a sad statement.  So I changed the subject and asked her about her life.

About her love life:

Me: "Grandma, do you have a boyfriend?"
Her: "I will NOT get into bed with another man, do you hear me? I haven't been in bed with a man since my husband passed and I plan on keeping it that way."
Me: "Grandma, I don't think anyone is trying to make you get in bed with them. You can just go out for coffee. Maybe dinner."
Her: "Ha! No thank you." Pause. "But you listen: I could if I wanted to. It's not like nobody wants to be my boyfriend, because they do. They definitely do."

Life Advice: 

"Do good. Read your Bible. Listen to that feeling in your stomach. And never, no matter what, smoke one single cigarette, ever. It's when you smoke your first cigarette that the devil comes in."

It was so precious to me, because one, I'm twenty-two.  The days of feeling pressured to smoke my first cigarette ever are pretty far behind me. And two, she's such a beautiful soul and truly sees things in that simple light: If you do good and don't smoke cigarettes, life will be pretty good for you.


"I never knew I had so many friends until this year. You won't know who your real friends are until you get really old. At my age, all the glitz and glamor is gone and you can't really do much for other people except be their friend. So if your friends call and come see you and invite you over, it's because they really are your friend. They want to be around you because they love you, not because they love what you can do for them."

She wrapped up the conversation in the same way she started it:

"Yeah, I'm gonna die soon. But don't you be sad for me. I've lived for a really long time and had a really good life. God has been so good to me. I don't want anyone to be sad for me, because when you get to be my age, death isn't so scary, it's friendly. Because so many of my friends have died, I know I'll have some great company when I get up there. I haven't seen my parents in so many years, and I know they'll be waiting on me. And did you know it's been over 30 years since my husband died? So don't you be sad for me, because I know he's up there. He maybe just barely made it in, (he smokes cigarettes, you see) but I know he's there. He'll be waiting to see me again."

My grandma has spent the past 30+ years loving the same man that she married.  Avoiding "the bed" (or even just coffee) with other men.  She has been devoted to him long after death did them part.

"Don't be sad when I die. I won't be sad. I'll get to see that man again. Oh, what a beautiful day it's gonna be. Right Chelsea? Don't you think so?"

Yeah, Grandma.  I think so.


Oh, what a beautiful day yesterday must have been. 

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