July 31, 2013 by Heather Harris
Thoughts on Losing Grandma
“So teach us to number our days
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12
What I remember of my Grandma Farthing was laughter, sparkling blue eyes, and chunky jewelry.
I remember cuddles and kisses, her smiling lips calling me her “sugar baby”, me wrapped up tight in the squeeze of her hugs, and finally squirming to freedom.
Werther’s candies pulled from her purse in gleaming gold wrappers that melted in my mouth, craving another.
Playing hours of “Chicken Scratch” dominos, one of the many games she loved to play.
Slideshows of pictures from her and Grandpa’s missionary work in Africa.
Age-spotted, translucent skin, through which you could see blue-green veins covering her slender hands holding my face close to hers. “You’re just so gorgeous,” she’d tell me, “just like your mother!”
I wish I had called to talk to her more as I grew into adulthood…
Every time I did talk to Granny, as she called herself—despite the fact my mom says she had always sworn she would never be called that as a grandmother—she always shared a passage of Scripture with me along with some encouraging thoughts to go along with it. Looking back, I wish I would have taken note of each and every one because I don’t remember most of them. She always let me know she was praying for me as I grew into the woman I am today, from the self-esteem she prayed for through my adolescence, to God’s guidance for the future awaiting me as I continue to seek His will in the journey ahead.
I remember reading the Psalms out loud to her when she was visiting once. We sat on the couch and I read from her King James bible as she listened with her head leaned back, eyes closed. Every once in awhile, I would look up to make sure she hadn’t fallen asleep on me, and when I paused in reading, she would open one eye and tell me to keep going. When we reached Psalm 91, a smile spread across her face, a humming sound warming her throat as she pressed her hands to her chest.
“Psalm 91 is my favorite,” she said. “All of the Psalms are good, but I love that one the best.” I read through that Psalm twice for her that day.
When I talked to her on the phone last, she was struggling to stay awake as I told her I loved her and I was praying for her. She answered, “I know hun. I’m praying the next time I wake up, I’ll be with Jesus.” Those were the last words I ever heard her say.
I know she was ready to go, and I’m confident I’ll see her again, but my heart aches for all the time I could’ve had with her that slipped through my fingers because I took it for granted…
Every moment of life we have here with each other is a precious gift. It’s so easy to coast along believing everything will stay as it is forever, but then mortality hits. We’re reminded just how short life is and how much we take for granted. I know my grandma loved me and I loved her, but I still regret the time I could have taken to cultivate a closer relationship with her, even though she lived clear across the country from me.
Don’t get me wrong…I’m not wallowing in guilt or crying over things I can’t change, simply grieving the loss of my beautiful, Godly grandma, and the close relationship I could’ve had with her. All I can do now is try to be better in the future with the relationships I still have left, and try my hardest to carry on a little piece of the precious legacy she left behind.