The first day of winter.
The shortest "day" of the year.
And the birthday of the best granny a girl could have.
I miss her so much!
|About 1 year ago, Christmas 2011.|
Granny loved life. She loved her family. Most of all, she loved God.
|Christmas ~ one of her favorite times of the year.|
I reminisce in the stories of those who came to pay their respects upon her death. They each had their own unique description of the way their lives had been impacted by the quiet, little lady. From the pastor's wife who, in long tiring days of childrearing, had received calls from granny offering to come wash her dishes or help with laundry, to the little girl (now all grown up) who would've never known the difference Jesus could make in her life had it not been for granny relentlessly showing her His love by taking her to Bible Club every Thursday night, to her friends at the Senior Center whose lives were made rich through her encouraging them to attend the Bible studies and making hymns a regular part of the music times. God only knows the thousands of contacts that were made through her handing a tract to nearly everyone she met. She was a woman of passionate principle, however, she never allowed bitterness or criticism to ruin her principled living.
Here is one of the most touching stories that I was told after her death. A mom said to me,
"When my son found out his girlfriend was pregnant, he was distraught. We couldn't find him for awhile, but discovered that he had gone to Maxine's house. He said that he knew she wouldn't criticize him or talk to others about his failure, but would show him love, pray for him, and keep his confidence." Seriously, how many teenagers would run to an old saint when faced with moral failure, guilt, and shame? Did she condone sin? Of course not, but just like Jesus, she had compassion upon the one who had committed sin.
So I think I'll don a red sweater (her favorite 'Friday' attire), make some peanut clusters (something she always had waiting for us at Christmas), and spend time today doing something to brighten another's day - this is the way she lived her life, and is certainly what she would encourage for the rest of us.
"Happy Birthday, Granny. I know this has to be the best one ever!"
The Christmas season can be difficult for those who are grieving. The holiday atmosphere screams at us to be happy and carefree, to forget our troubles and have a light heart. I have found that the best way to channel grief is to express it, but not be consumed by it. Remember the moments, cry the tears, mourn the losses. Do this as often as necessary to heal the heart. While grieving, look outside of your grief to the looming needs of others. With a sensitive, compassionate heart (tenderized by grief), pour yourself into making life better for someone else.
If you have a moment, I encourage you to listen to this song from one of my favorite artists, Mandisa.
"Sometimes Christmas Makes Me Cry"