02 August 2007

It's an old cliche' but you can't take it with you

It's been a stressful few days. Among other things I wont get into, my Grandma is in a hospital in Denver. She almost died in a flash flood in Texas a few weeks ago and ever since then it's been kind of downhill. No word on why, but we suspect it might be a virus contracted from being neck deep in flood water for quite sometime before the fire department showed. God bless the fire department (and no, that's not my Grandma's house).

Could be West Nile?

Anyway, I visited her for the first time today and no one knows if she'll make it or not. I spent about three hours with her and out of that we were able to share a good 20 minutes (a couple minutes here and there) talking with her. We talked well during those moments. Probably the best talks we ever had. The rest of the time she was mostly sleeping, or wasn't really lucid.

While I was there, it struck me: She did it well. She lived well. As a devout Lutheran she went to church every Sunday. We moved in with her and my Grandpa after my Dad died when I as five so therefore, I also went to church every Sunday. I must say that was equivalent to sticking lit matches in my eyes after I learned to party on Saturday nights - and it had to be the 8am service!

More than that though; she lived it beyond a Sunday morning, she lived it in life. There was not a selfish uncaring bone in her body. She always thought of others before herself. She was the last one still making pancakes when everyone else was eating. She was the one making Vodka Tonics at the family Christmas party while everyone else sat and talked (and she made a mean Vodka tonic!).

Even in the hospital, while being poked and pricked, my Aunt said she still always said "Thank you."

While we talked, in one of those amazing rare moments, she said, "Your Grandfather loved you so much." Even while lying in the Neurological Care Unit, she was thinking of my Grandfather (who died several years ago) and me, and not of herself.

Her house is totaled from the flood she survived. Some, but not much was salvaged. She escaped with her nightgown... and her selfless love.

And yet, her legacy of caring, thoughtfulness and hospitality will endure. When the good Lord calls her home - whenever that may be, she'll leave that behind in the lives of those who were the beneficiaries of such grace.

I wanna live like her when I grow up.

And on that day, when she is made whole again in the face of God, I can bet my bottom dollar that she's going to serve to Jesus a mean vodka tonic.

1 comment:

paul said...

sounds tough mate :( but what a lived out legacy, maybe your grandma will have that special ministry of turning water into vodka tonics across the universe? :)