I've been fortunate enough to have never lost a grandparent that I was old enough to remember until this past week. My sweet Jaja was 80 years old and battling the awful Alzheimer's when she suddenly took a turn for the worse. Thankfully she no longer has to live in a body that she wasn't designed to endure. The "afterlife" isn't a conversation many people enjoy discussing especially at Christmastime, (even though Christmas is all about Jesus coming into the world in order to die), but I think most of us agree, we want to feel that those we love are at peace during and after they pass regardless of the time of year. But I can't help but point out that just as we are not in control of when and how the body is formed in a mother's womb, we are not in control of when and how we leave this world. Sure, we try to take that control away with modern conveniences, but in the end, we do not get to have it all our own way. This leads me to believe, we were not in control from the beginning. Just as the story of Adam and Eve shows two people deceived by their own desire for control and the temptation of evil, we too want to make up our own happy ending regardless of what God tells us is true. He is not to blame for sickness, heartache, death or despair, but He surely gives us a real comfort and joy when we know him as Father before we die. I'm truly thankful my Jaj knew her Father and Savior, and she is rejoicing with so many others in heaven today.
I saw God's hand in the unexpected and unnatural seven inches of snow that fell this December at our home. It was a beautiful white blanket of newness and change. It was like my grandma was smiling and laughing with us. As we all began to feel the childlike joy of snow, we breathed a little deeper in the sweet goodness that still exists in this world.
Moreover, even though Levi's GI doc wasn't thrilled with his continued snail-pace wight gain, we enjoyed watching him continuously eat snow as if he was is a contest to prove his doctor wrong. We are grateful that my grandmother got to meet and love Levi, her miracle great-grandson. She lived a picture of a wonderful wife, an adoring mother, and a zest for life that I hope to emulate throughout my days on earth.