Back Too Soon

Last Friday, after being in Nicaragua only two and a half weeks, my sister Beth sent me an urgent email asking me to call her. I called her only to find out that my grandmother was sick and would most likely not make it through the weekend. I quickly found a plane ticket home, threw some things in a bag and arrived in Houston less than ten hours after getting the message.

When Beth picked me up at the airport, she hugged me and let me know that Grandmother had passed a few hours earlier. (We called her “Grandmother.”) In the car on the way back to my parents’ house, Beth told me a little about Grandmother’s last few days.

Grandmother had stayed characteristically positive right until the end and had more visitors than the nurses on her floor had ever seen a single patient have. Her sweet disposition and love for others inspired family, friends, church members (some of whom had barely known her) to not only visit once, but to return on multiple occasions. Knowing Grandmother, her visitors were equally blessed by visiting her as she was by their visit.

Only hours before Grandmother passed, the family stood around her hospital bed sipping coffee and talking. Grandmother reached onto her table and picked up a little cup of melted ice cream. Hardly able to speak, she held the little cup in the air and signaled that she wanted to say something. My uncle understood first, “She wants to make a toast!”

Grandmother pulled the oxygen mask away far enough to be understood, “I get to see Jesus first!”

She held her cup out and toasted everyone in the room. Upon noticing that my brother-in-law, Richard, didn’t have a drink, she made him get the bottle of water on the counter and toast her. Grandmother was certain that her time had come and her destination in heaven was secure. I am thankful for her life and grateful that her suffering has ended.

Cheers Grandmother!

Posted on December 8, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Andy –
    We loved your Grandmother, she was so special and always a joy to be around. My mother loved her as well and now they are together with Jesus. We love you and pray for you daily.

  2. Andy, I was blessed to have known Maxine. She was always so positive and cheerful, taught me so much in the short five years I had the privilege to call myself her Sunday School Teacher. I will miss her. Mary Ann

  3. Sorry to hear that, friend. Isn’t it great to know we don’t have to mourn her like those who have no hope?!?!
    Ill be praying for your family!

  4. Wow, sweet… She did get to enter the real “happily ever after” and see Jesus first! Blessings to you and your family.

  5. Knowing your grandmother for the short period I did makes me a better person. Her wisdom and winsome spirit made every moment in her presence precious. I bless God for her life and for the opportunity to share in it. Thank you for the opportunity to love your grandmother and your family by extension.

  6. Courtney Wilcox

    Andy, I always used to “make fun” of you and Beth for calling her “grandmother” because I always thought that sounded so “dictionary-ish.” I can’t imagine her going by any other name though. I know it was so personal to y’all. When I visited with her on Friday afternoon about 1:00 p.m., she asked about all of my kids BY NAME! She was so very self-less and so full of life until the very end. Even in her frail condition, she truly reflected God’s glory…probably because she was so near to being in His presence face-to-face.

  7. She was a precious woman. Her last days were so bittersweet… she displayed that “peace that passes understanding”. Can’t believe she’s gone. Glad we have so many great memories and will be reunited one day!

  8. raquel ortiz-pina

    I had the awesome privilege of spending time with your Grandmother because Felicia is one of my dearest friends. “Mama” was so sweet and spunky!!!! She will be missed!

  9. Karen Lombardo

    Mom inisted that her granchildren call her Grandmother. I thought it was a bit ambitous since the grandchildren were of course tiny babes. When Nina learned to talk, she called her Grannunoo, which made mom happy. It was too cute for words. Mom loved all her grandchildren and prayed for each one in a special way daily. She meant the world to all of us. I am touched deeply by her unmoving testimony up until she took her last breath here on earth. Now she is dancing in heaven with all her loved ones that preceded her. What an amazing woman!!!!

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