Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Grandma Is With Jesus

Florence Marie (Hearte) Rees, my grandma, went to be with Jesus on Sunday, February 14. She has been in hospice care for a long time and suffering a great deal. But now that suffering has ended and I praise God that this Godly woman is forever healthy and rejoicing.

She was my spiritual mentor, my friend, and a Proverbs 31 woman. For 35 years I gleaned her wisdom, wit, love. Our love was as mutual as our love for gravy and lemon meringue pie (but not at the same time).

My greatest peace is knowing that when she did die there were no words left unsaid between us, months ago she had even asked me to tell her goodbye at that point in case she could not do so later. She then laid hands on me and blessed my marriage, my family, and my walk with Christ. I ask you, how often do we get such selflessness in life? She gave me all she had then so I could grieve in advance and begin to prepare myself for her death. What a gift!

She died peacefully at my parents' home. I sat by her side for a good length time before they moved her from the home. It was an honor to read Scripture, sing her favorite hymns, and sprinkle rose petals around her bed. In our culture we often think if death as terrifying, or unsightly. Yet for me this was one of the most beautiful, peaceful experiences of my life. I liken it to the birth of my children, the difference being that my grandma was delivered to Jesus' side. For a woman who saw me at my best and worst - and gave me all she had - this was the least I could do.

She will be laid to rest in Ft Meyers, Florida, with my grandpa (who was equally awesome). As her legacy she leaves behind her daughter, Linda and her husband Harold Taylor, Lisa and Eric Howard, me and Dan and 5 adorable, though delightfully silly, great grandchildren. We all adored her. Pray that her death will help bring my mother to the Lord.

The following is the Scripture I read at her bedside as I said my final goodbyes:

Psalm 116
1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave [a] came upon me;
I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the LORD :
"O LORD, save me!"
5 The LORD is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
6 The LORD protects the simplehearted;
when I was in great need, he saved me.
7 Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the LORD
in the land of the living.
10 I believed; therefore [b] I said,
"I am greatly afflicted."
11 And in my dismay I said,
"All men are liars."
12 How can I repay the LORD
for all his goodness to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the LORD.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of his saints.
16 O LORD, truly I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant [c] ;
you have freed me from my chains.
17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the LORD.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the LORD—
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD. [d]


Dan Lewis said...

I am sorry for your loss Stacy. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I'm glad she is with Jesus now. It sounds like she was a blessing to you and your family. She is enjoying the greatest reward now.

Claire Koenig said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My grandmother also had a drawn-out time of dying, and the thing that surprised me so much was that as soon as he was gone, I was remembering the younger, vibrant, dynamic person she had been. That made me miss her all the more because I still wanted that person back. My comfort is thinking that, hopefully, she inspired me to be a little like her, and I quote her sometimes and believe I do honor her memory with my life.

And I want you to know, when my father passed away 2 years ago, a niece on my husband's side, 13 years old, left his service saying "I want to know Jesus like he did." She made a decision for Christ sometime later and I am so grateful she knows the Lord. I pray the same for your mother.

vanilla said...

God holds you in His hand as your Grandmother is celebrated in heaven! What a blessing to have such an example and mentor for your Christian walk.

Kemma said...

Your comparison of her being delivered to Jesus and the birth of a child reminded me of the Carolyn Arends song "We've Been Waiting For You". Makes me well up with tears just thinking of it. Bless you.

Marni said...

What a beautiful goodbye to your grandmother. Mine was my spiritual mentor and was the first to tell me about Jesus. I hope our wonderful grandmothers are meeting up in Heaven right now :-)

I'll keep praying for you and especially for your mom.

Kristy said...

Stacy, I am so sorry. I lost my granny two days before you, on Feb. 12. She lived in Scotland and I in the states, so I could not be wth her when she passed. I am forever grateful for the wonderful memories I have, as I am sure you are. Please tell us more about your grandmother as you remember things in the days, weeks, and months ahead. I would love to hear stories! You and your family are in my prayers.

Karen Osler said...

Nothing like a good grandma. I still miss mine. Maybe they are meeting now in heaven. I'm sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

We are praying for you, Stacy - do not forget that ours is a God of resurrection. You will be together again.

-John R

miller_schloss said...

Stacy, I heard this song and thought of you. Hope it's a comfort to you like it was to me.

Your Hands by JJ Heller

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