Have I told you lately that I love your smile and your little laugh? Did I remember to tell you last time we spoke that I love how you treasure friendship and have kept up in remarkable ways with many girlfriends throughout the years? Did I tell you how cool it is that you still call your closest group of friends ¨the girls¨? Did I mention I love how you´re always available to talk to someone & that you always would prefer company or that you can beat most anyone in a board game?
Have I told you lately that I love your piles of books by your chair and the old Bible in the kitchen? Did I remember to tell you that all your fragile collectibles around the house whisper stories to me of special people & moments in your life? Did I say last time we spoke that it always touches me when it´s your turn to pray and you choke up?
Have I told you, Grandma, that your teacups and quilts and pillows and pictures mean so much because you have shared them generously over the years with others in your home? Did I remember to mention that I love your yard full of produce and flowers and the care and attention you have given them over the years alongside your husband? Did I say last time I saw you that I hold onto the legacy of family & history because of your tireless protectiveness of it?
Have I told you recently that I am so blessed that you have received our family as weary travelers throughout 25 years? That I am blessed by your daily sacrifice to Jesus to let us fulfill our call without complaint? Did I say lately that your loving commitment to your own children has not been lost on me? And that your daily labor to lead them to God was not in vain? Have I said, Grandma, that the son you raised has changed my life and given me adventure & love beyond words?
How could I have not told you, Grandma, that your steady commitment to your husband and his roles in the community, in addition to your own profession, took you into lives untouched by others? Did I tell you how proud I am of your work as a nurse all these years and the tireless dedication to helping others with wisdom & excellence? Did I say to you that I so admire your hard work ethic, your commitment to remaining active through so many years while many alongside you retired? Did I ever tell you that you are the oldest volunteer at a hospital I know?
Have I said of late that the church has been held together by people like you and Harold over the years, both the good and the turbulent ones? That your commitment to faith, people´s needs and the family of God is part of our legacy? Did I mention that you are sorely missed in this tender time of physical decline, not just your husband? You, Grandma.
Have I told you that I really admire the many road trips and hikes and camping trips you made as a family? That perhaps secretly you may have sometimes preferred something else but you were always a good sport? Have I said to you recently that your strong spirit has had a lot to do with holding the family together? Did I tell you last time that we chuckle when we see glimpses of that in our kids?
Grandma, have I told you how eternally grateful I am for all you have given your three grandchildren? And how no matter how crazy their overseas life was they could always count on 644 Vallejo Way? Have I told you how much we enjoyed taking care of you in these last few years in the small ways that we could? Did I tell you last summer that the kids will always be grateful that you let them climb on the roof and look at the stars at night?
Oh, Grandma, there are so many things to tell you that I am afraid I will run out of time and space! Mostly, I want to remember to tell you as your daughter-in-law that I will always be grateful that you let me into your heart, your life, your home, your family. That you let me capture your only son´s heart and yet still loved me!
I hope I´ve told you that I love how your tender side has emerged in these last couple years. That there is a sweetness, a new perfume in your life. And I pray I have told you that as we have watched you bravely care for your husband, grieve for him when he passed into eternity and speak of him daily in this last year, we see your undying love for him. But this letter, Grandma, is not about him, it´s for and about and to you.
Have I whispered to you, Grandma, that we have been witnesses of your eagerness for heaven? That we have seen you read about it, think about it, speak of it for years? Have I spoken to you that we have seen that tear in your eye that speaks of a longing - the longing for home - your real, final, eternal home? Yes, we have seen it, dear Grandma.
Grandma, have I told you how much I envy that you know all the hymns by heart and that I have seen with my own eyes that hardly anything gives you more joy than singing them to the One who first loved you? I don´t want to forget to say I love you, I will miss you when you go home and that you will forever have a special place in my heart. I want to remind you, Grandma, that your legacy lives on in two proud children, a daughter-in-law and 3 grandchildren. You are most dear to us.
Have I told you lately, Grandma, that I release you to go home? Go home, Grandma, go home.
Love you always & see you there!