Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gramma Fran

We said our earthly goodbyes to gramma Fran on Monday.
What a hard couple of days.
One of the greatest gifts God gives us is the ability to love one another.  It hurts to say goodbye to someone you love.
Especially to someone who has always been there.

Gramma was 95.
Most would say "wow she lived a very long life".
I would agree.
But I still wasn't ready to say goodbye.

But was she?

I pondered that question for days.
Was she ready?
Dear God please assure me she is ready...

A little over a week ago mom and I visited gran Fran one morning.  We talked about days gone by and giggled about some of the silly things she was saying.  
Suddenly she said "You never know when you will be born or when you will croak".
I kind of chuckled as I asked "are you ready to croak?"

She answered "No I don't think so."

Mom asked her what she needed to do in order to be ready.

"Well I need to go ask forgiveness of all those who I have offended"

Mom explained that she could be ready simply by asking God to forgive her.

She first asked me to forgive her for any harsh words she ever spoke to me.  Mom then asked her if she wanted to pray.

She began with the Lord's prayer.
A few moments of silence passed and then she said "Oh precious Lord" over and over.  

"Oh precious Lord, Oh precious Lord, Oh precious Lord"

She proceeded to ask his forgiveness.
Which I know he granted.

"Oh precious Lord"...
How those three words would comfort me in the days to come.

Sunday was hard.  Gramma was in pain and it was agonizing to watch.  Mom, dad and I sat with her all day and just prayed that God would blanket her with his mercy.  After what seemed like forever the hospice nurse arrived and was able to get doctor approval for higher doses of pain medication which did relieve the agony.
Once satisfied that she was not in pain I left for the night.
I had a restless night of sleep.
Lots of waking and wondering how she was.
Praying God would take her and yet also hoping she wouldn't leave this world while in a room all alone.

The minute my eyes opened on Monday morning I jumped out of bed and got dressed.  I hurried off to go be with her.  Dad and I arrived about the same time and we proceeded in together.  She seemed very peaceful.  You could tell there was no pain.  The end was near, evidenced by her shallow breathing.  Our eyes were hot with tears as the sting of death lay before us.  

Horrific to watch your loved one die.

And yet because of sin we will all die.
But we need not die without hope.
The grave is not the end.
For we have been bought with the precious blood of christ.
The sinless son of God hung on a cross to save us from our sin.
HE has overcome the grave.
Will you accept the gift?
Will you be ready to say goodbye?

Gramma was ready.
I asked for assurance and God was merciful to show it more than once.  As I sat watching her softly breath on Monday morning I prayed for God to gently guide her home.  I prayed it would be peaceful.  I prayed that his presence would be evident.  

One by one her family arrived.  
We mourned together.
All the while she hung on.
After driving 8 hours from a mini vacation in the UP my brother arrived.  I met him at the door and we had a brother/sister moment that I had been longing for since the day before.  I took him to gramma's room and watched as he said goodbye.  

We talked for a few short minutes and then the room fell silent.
A room full of family.
Her two sons.
Her daughter in law.
Two of her grandchildren.
A room enveloping her in prayer.
A room full of people who loved her.

God often uses music to speak to me and had been specifically using it most recently with regards to gramma.
I had the urge to turn on my pandora radio just to see what kind of soft music I could play.
I muted the speaker with my thumb as to not disturb anyone.
I quickly noticed the title banner at the top of the screen.

"Oh precious Lord, lead me home"

I layed my phone on gramma's pillow and sat with her holding on to her earthly body praying that God would take her soul.

The music softly played...

Precious LORD take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious LORD, lead me home

When my way grows drear precious LORD linger near
When my life is almost gone
Hear my cry, hear my call
Hold my hand, lest I fall
Take my hand precious LORD, lead me home

When the darkness appears and the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand, precious LORD, lead me home

Precious LORD, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious LORD, lead me home. 

Oh precious Lord, Oh precious Lord, Oh precious Lord...

She was ready.
She took one last breath and our precious Lord led her home.
In the presence of her family.
God took her hand from mine and led her home...


  1. How Beautiful...God was ready to take her home and Grandma Fran was ready to follow..
    I will miss her especially her sense of humor...she was so funny alway's ready with a joke so witty...also she was the best dressed Grandma I've ever known, I alway's admired her fashion alway's so put together . Yes Grandma Fran I will miss you and I'm so sorry we never had our second outing together, but one day we will when we meet again in heaven..until then Grandma Fran keep them laughing ...I will miss jeanette

  2. So glad you documented these beautiful memories Meg. Love you!

  3. Meg!

    Excellent relating of the emotional experience and the observations of a full life moving on.

    And what a recognition of eternal matters in the face of finite stressors, all the while keeping each in their proper perspectives and using them both for growth.

    It appears you have wrung every drop of value out of this trial which God has made available for you.

    A Wonderful sharing of your wise, honest heart.