Monday, July 27, 2015

Saying Goodbye

When someone you love enters eternity, leaving you behind, it doesn't matter that they lived a long life. It doesn't matter how long they suffered, and it doesn't matter how weary everyone became during the process. It hurts. It's sad. And it's a stark reminder of our humanity and Jesus' sovereignty.

It's a reminder that a body detached from a soul, is nothing. It's a reminder that the soul is what brings beauty to life. It's a reminder, as you watch the sting of death seem to overcome, that the soul longs for our more heavenly home.

It's a reminder that we don't belong here and that such beauty awaits. It's a reminder of the love, grace, mercy, and presence my Jesus gives.

Grandma and the girls on
her last birthday.

Making Easter bread together in 2010.
My sweet little Italian grandmother, Ergie, has been battling the ugly disease of Alzheimers for a long time. Now, it seems, she mostly remembers us with her heart and not with her brain. To wish for her to stay, imprisoned by the chains that steal joy, is selfish. I imagine her soaring, whole, soon.

I know she is ready. I know because my grandmother fought for her family to love Jesus. She lived her life shining His light, praying, and living as His hands and feet with my grandfather, and she never gave up.

Sure she was a worrier. If you didn't answer your phone, she'd march her little Italian legs to your home (somehow - because she didn't drive) and throw rocks at your window. She also taught me that touching a booth seat in a restaurant is the worst thing on the planet to touch. And, let's face it...If you didn't have a third helping of macaroni, you straight up didn't love her.

But, if you called, she was there. With an ear. With my grandfather in a large white Cadillac with red interior. With food. And with food. Wait...did I already mention that?

I will miss my grandma. I will miss a childhood of messing up her pantry playing "store" with my cousins. I will miss jumping on her couches banging pots and pans singing Italian music. I will miss the way she furrowed her eyebrows when she worried. I will miss the milestone of finally reaching the height of an adult...She knew how to rock 4 feet 11 inches.

But I am thankful for the legacy she leaves behind for generations. A legacy of loving Jesus and caring for others. A spirit more generous than most, and an undivided heart. I'm thankful that as we grieve, we can remember a life that will live on.

God is always good, and today, tomorrow, and every day I will cling to him as I put one foot in front of the other. I can only imagine my sweet grandma, walking with Jesus, embracing the beauty of heaven and her new, whole body, and hearing the words "well done."

Grandma when Hannah
was born in 2005.
Grandma with Emma when she
was born in 2010.

2 Corinthians 5

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. 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. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

Grandma with her 11 grandchildren (top) & great grandchildren (bottom).
3 more have been born since this picture
was taken 1.5 years ago.


  1. This is beautiful, Melissa. Having just lost my Gramma this year, I sympathize with you. Lots of love and praying that the memories will far surpass the sorrow.


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