Sunday, November 18, 2012

Leaving A Legacy

A week ago today, I received a phone call from my mom telling me that my grandmother had been put in the hospital for pneumonia, but upon further testing the doctors had found stage 4 cancer. Unsure of where it started (although it is now assumed to have been either breast or ovarian) it had spread to her lung, liver, bones, and pelvis. She was not in good shape and I decided right then that I was going to make the trip back to NC so I could see her and be with her for a few days. David booked my flight for me while I started making arrangements for my trip home by figuring out the game plan for here.
The next morning, I received another phone call. My grandmother...Nannie, had passed away  in the middle of the night. Emotions ran the whole gamut. Devastated was my first reaction. Devastated that I wasn't going to get to see her again and tell her what I wanted to. Sad for my mom and her siblings that they had lost their mother. Then my feelings turned to relief. Relief that Nannie hadn't had to suffer a horrible bout with chemo, radiation, worry, anxiety and all the other sickness that comes with cancer treatments. Relief that God, in His infinite mercy spared her from all of that extra suffering. Happiness that she is now sitting at the feet of Jesus and reunited with my grandfather and her baby who had died at birth almost 60 years ago. Jealousy...jealous that she is in heaven rejoicing with the angels and our Lord God while we are still living in this sinful and fallen world. Pride was another emotion I felt. I am so so so proud to have a grandmother who loved Jesus, lived her life in such a way that glorified Him and showed her faithfulness to Him.
So, what I would have told my Nannie had I been able to talk to her one last time before she died is this:
I would have thanked her for living her life as a Christ follower and raising her three children in such a way that they too chose Christ. Without her influence on my own mom, I know without  a doubt that I would not have the level of trust in Jesus that I do today. I would not have the relationship with Him that I do. Because of my Nannie my mom became a believer and because of my mom I did. Hopefully because of me, Chloe will... and the legacy my grandmother left will continue.
I would have told her how much I LOVED coming to her house to spend the night every single Friday for years. I would have thanked her for investing time in me. I never doubted her love or affection for me. I spent some wonderful Fridays with her and her girlfriends...we were "The Golden Girls" yet I was by far the youngest one. Ha!! Usually on the weekends we would go out to eat and then go to the mall. Then we would go back to her house and play board games. However, I remember so vividly these pair of beautiful red shoes she bought me one weekend and how much she wanted to get them for me. I remember telling her I really liked them but didn't think I should get them but she INSISTED. She really wanted me to have them. I wore those shoes out!
And finally I would have told her that I love her one last time.

Several scriptures are ingrained in my memory that will forever make me think of her...
2 Corinthians 5:8 - Yes we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
Philippians 1:21 - For to me, living is living for Christ, but dying is far better.
2 Timothy 4:7 - I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.