My grandma, Linda, passed away one year ago, September 19, 2019. I think everyone should know about her, who she was.
Let me start with this, no one deserves a Linda. If you have someone in your life even slightly as amazing as my grandma, they are a gift to you. People like her are not deserved, but people like her are greatly appreciated by everyone. People like her leave a ray of sunshine everywhere they go and inside everyone they meet. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of light and hope she radiated and continues to.
My grandma was the person you’d run to for help, for advice, for comfort. Even strangers could see her kindness, and they would confide in her, too. Take a second to imagine what that’s like… You meet her on the street, you have no idea who she is, yet you know she cares so deeply for you. I’m sure a lot of people would wonder why. Why would a complete stranger love you?
Well, grandma had unfailing, unwavering faith. The love of God resided in her, and she gave that love to every single person she met. It didn’t matter who you were, where you came from, what you believed, what you did or what you’ve done, she loved you, and she was going to do anything and everything in her power to let you know that.
Grandma had this overwhelming sense of comfort and safety around her. She would say that’s the presence of God, and it is. When I think about my faith, I always strive to be a little more like her. She never once doubted His plan. Battling breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and sepsis in the midst of it all, she trusted Him. She knew that one day she would be in His presence, that all the pain, the suffering would come to an end. Her faith was bulletproof. It didn’t matter what was happening around her, it didn’t matter if she was in the midst of a storm, she saw God’s hands reaching out every time.
Grandma didn’t want to do chemotherapy anymore. She had already been through it before, and she decided enough was enough. She actually skipped one of her chemo sessions to come to my graduation. A woman battling cancer loved her family enough to sacrifice treatment. Look at the smile on her face, look at the glow she has. You would have never guessed she was sick, not by her looks and definitely not by her attitude.
When I tell you my grandma was a light in the darkness, I mean it. She was a light in her own darkness while the rest of us wallowed in fear. She was always laughing, smiling, and joking around. She never complained about her pain, she never complained about her circumstances, she always accepted what came her way and turned it into love.
There is a lesson in everything that happens in our lives. Whether it be a lesson of love, hope, trust, there is one present every time.
Even after death, she continues to teach me so many things. Grandma taught me what love really is. Love isn’t something you give or receive, it’s not something you feel, it’s something you are. To be love is to be patient, kind, hopeful, abundant, courageous, and strong. You love without expecting it to be reciprocated. You love even when it hurts, even when it’s hard. Grandma was love, and that’s why she was the greatest gift in all of our lives.
I miss you more than you could ever know, grandma. Although I miss you, I’m happy you are finally free from your pain. Thank you for holding on for so long, and thank you for your light. You never seemed to exhaust your joy, and I admire you so much for that. No matter what, you kept a genuine smile on that cute face of yours. Every day when you pop into my mind, I feel peace. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle your death, but you prepared us well. You constantly reminded us that when you passed, you weren’t in your body anymore. The body is just a vessel in which we experience life. You made sure we understood that you’re not gone, your spirit still lives on, and we’ll see you again. I was afraid I would only remember the hard times, but somehow you’ve made it to where I only remember the good. When I think of your time on earth, I think of us making pies and cookies, going to thrift stores, our trips to the duck park, the time we walked to HEB to get fruit when I stayed the night. I think of how much you enjoyed snow cones, crab, and crawfish. When I think of you, I see your smile, and I hear your laugh. When I cry, I hear you say “oh honey,” and it’s like I feel your hug.
You are and will forever be my role model. I can only hope to be half as good of a person as you were. Even after death, you continue to change lives. You didn’t even know the effect you had on people, grandma. You were a treasure to everyone, and you still are. I can’t wait to see you again someday. We’ll have so much fun. I’m glad to know you’re not gone, and I’m even more glad that I can feel your presence. You still bring so much comfort to the whole family.
I know you probably want us to be done grieving, but grandma, if you knew how great you were, you would understand why it’s so hard to stop. I think that’s one of my favorite things about you, you had no idea how special you were. Now everyone who reads this will know the person you were, and I know that just talking about you will shift people’s hearts. You always bring healing and love everywhere you go.
I love you, grandma. Treasures are meant to be shared, and I’m not done sharing you yet. I’m so grateful for you. Your light will continue to radiate through all of us.