Sunday, December 21, 2008

I love knowing there will be a day of No More Pain

Point Of Grace Lyrics
No More Pain Lyrics

It was 4:30 am when my wife and I arrived at St. Louis’ Lambert Airport. My wife looked at me knowing how I felt and said, “For what it’s worth, Happy Anniversary.” I looked back and told her how much I’d miss her while I was gone. We’d been together for two years and had never been apart from each other for more than twelve hours at a time.

But that morning, I was boarding an airplane to head back to Orlando. This was not going to be a pleasant trip home. By the time I reached the airport in Orlando, my mind was made up. As much as I wanted to bring my grandma back to Illinois to live her final days, I would allow her to go where she wanted. Home. Back to the hills of West Virginia. My mom’s best friend was allowing mom and grandma to move in with her and it was my job to drive them there. My grandmother had been diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer and we knew she only had a few months.

At the hospital, my grandmother smiled at me and said, “I suppose I’m gonna die. That’s why you’re here. So how long have they really given me?” I told her that the doctor told me six months. She knew I’d tell her. Mom just never was good at delivering bad news and left it to me. “Well, I hope that I don’t live to see another cold winter.” I didn’t want to hear that.

We made the drive to West Virginia and I helped get her settled. After a couple days of getting through doctor appointments and arrangements, I had to go back to my pregnant wife. It was several months before we had Megan and I was praying that my grandma would live long enough to see her. It was hard leaving West Virginia knowing it might be the last time I’d see my grandma alive, but deep down I knew that was possible.

Six weeks later, the call came. My grandmother had died at 93. She lived a long life. It was four years ago today. It still hurts me that I didn’t get to go to the funeral, but two feet of snow had more to do with that than anything else. There are people who are still a little upset by the fact I wasn’t there, but they have to deal with that.

I admit I still miss not calling her on the phone a few times a week and getting wisdom and cooking tips. My marriage had made me a metrosexual and I was the domestic god. Thanks to her, I became a decent cook. I still do laundry my own way and my manliest duty is taking out the trash. I do mow the lawn in the summer, so I still keep my masculine side.

My grandmother was more like a mom than my own. She raised mom and I together. While I grew up, so did my mom. The great thing is watching things now. My youngest daughter, Maggie, looks and acts so much like her that it astounds me. She smiles just like her. Do I believe in reincarnation? No. I do believe in heredity and that Maggie got most of my grandma’s traits. I kid my mom that my son reminds me of my great uncle Ernie and that Megan reminds me of my great aunt Agnes. My three kids act like those Russell kids of long, long ago.

My grandmother did beat that stomach cancer. When I see her in heaven, she will be cancer free. How do I know? That’s the best part. After the Great Throne Judgement in Revelation chapter 20, chapter 21 tells us how heaven will be, starting with verse 2. “I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with me, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Death dies. It’s not he with the most toys wins. It’s he (or she) who knows their God will enjoy eternity with him and each other. That is a real pick me up from missing my loved one.

I love you guys!

1 comment:

Madame Ladybug said...

Your grandmother sounds like a very special woman. I wish I had that same knowledge that you have about seeing her again. I am optimistic and hopeful that my love for my sister is not in vain though and that I may see her again one day too. Hopefully her pain and struggles are also over.