Today is the one year anniversary of Jerry's mom's death. I can't believe how fast the year has gone as it just seems like yesterday we were at her side.
We miss her tremendously and have special thoughts today of the life she lived and the people she touched.
Here's a great picture of her and how we especially remember her last year (at 95 years old!)... always sitting at her kitchen table when you came through her front door... with a smile on her face so glad and excited to see you and usually dressed in pink!
You may have read this story on-line or got it in an email from a friend... but it so suited her that I wanted to read it at her Memorial Service..... it is a great reflection of her life and attitude.... I'm sure you'll recognize your own mother in the story as well:
Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly at the kitchen table... She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands. When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.
Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. 'Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking,' she said in a clear voice strong.
'I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,' I explained to her. 'Have you ever looked at your hands,' she asked. 'I mean really looked at your hands?'
I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.. Grandma smiled and related this story:
'Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.
'They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor... They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.
Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war. They wrote many love letters to him daily.
They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. They shook when I buried my parents and husband.
'They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand.
They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.
'These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life.
But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of God.'
I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home.
So when your hands are hurt or sore or when you stroke the face of you children or husband, think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God.