It was a treasured time with grandma, and family, and seeing the familiar Rocky Mountains out our hotel window. It was a long road trip we were determined to make, a 2 and 3 year old surprisingly happy with snacks and stickers and a stack of dollar store colored pencils. It was a whole group of us releasing balloons outside of grandma’s hospital room, waving and smiling and shouting that we love her. It was her saying that she wanted to follow those balloons right up to heaven to meet Jesus, and to see grandpa again. It was masks, and restrictions, and nurses “looking the other way” when more than two visitors were in her room at a time. It was holding her hand, laughing with uncles, and hearing memories of cousins, farm life, and grandpa’s early days in Iowa as they came to her mind. It was the birth of a niece just a few floors up from grandma’s room (a niece who was given grandma’s middle name!). It was life and near-to-death, the pain and the sweetness, but hope above all, wrapped up in one short visit. It was nurses moving heaven and earth (in this age of restrictions) for grandma to be able to hold, and to meet, and to whisper blessings over her new great-granddaughter’s life. It was the passing of the baton from the oldest to the youngest taking place in that little hospital room. It was special reminders at her bedside to keep walking with Jesus. It’s a vase she set aside for me, now sitting on my living room shelf. It’s a lifetime of having her in my life, and the gratitude that I got to see her one more time here on earth.
Grandma, God knows the day and the hour that you’ll join Him in heaven. Walk by faith in these last days, as you have for many years, knowing that if you’re still here on earth, He has a plan for your life. Hug grandpa for us all! Make sure and meet Shawn’s grandparents. And tell the Apostle Paul that I’m looking forward to sitting down with him for an interview. We love you, grandma!