My Grandma – my mom’s mom – died on or around Valentine’s Day a few years ago. She was a sturdy, healthy woman, who simply grew too old for her body to carry her. She died peacefully in her own bed, with Gordy by her side.
My mom was getting her hair done at the time, which is so mom. When she’s old and not so independent, I’ll be taking her to the beauty shop every week to get her hair done. In heaven her hair will be thick and full of body – no beauty shops necessary there.
Gordy adored my Grandma, and she adored him, in her reserved, German kind of way. When my Grandpa died, her husband of more than 50 years, my Grandma collapsed from the exhaustion of caring for him, her body somehow understanding she was no longer on duty. She was in the hospital during his funeral, but Gordy sat with her, quietly holding her hand.
Then years later as she passed away, he was holding her hand again.
I didn’t consider at the time how prophetic this was, Gordy holding the hand of a dying woman, watching her take her last breath. It would be years later that he lay in a hospice bed in his own living room, in and out of awareness, his body giving way to cancer.
I wonder if he remembered that moment, the moment he was holding the hand of a woman when the life went out of her. I wonder if he remembered her last breath, the peaceful silence, the whisper of a soul floating away. I wonder if this memory brought him comfort. I wonder if this prepared him for his own passing.
Jesus knew what he was doing when he called my Grandma home just then, as Gordy held her hand.
When life feels out of control I try to remember that God sees the bigger picture. He doesn’t just see the moment, but he sees the moment in connection with an infinity of moments. In my panic I often run into the street, naked and screaming maniacally about the end of the world as we know it, when all I really need to do is sit and quietly allow the Holy Spirit to connect the dots from one moment to the next.
When life feels out of control I need to ask myself, Do I trust him to carry me from moment to moment, even into infinite?