Who are the Grands?
They are 90 and 93, and they live each day like there is no tomorrow. Because there may not be. Their minds are not what they used to be and their bodies are breaking down bit by bit, but inside those old minds and bodies they are the same independent-minded young people that forged their own way in this world and made a good life for themselves. This is both a blessing and a challenge, as you'll see in the posts below. Welcome to our journey!
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Monday, February 10, 2014
Grandma's Wisdom: Treasure Each Precious Day
When Grandma and Grandpa were still living in Dexter, I bought Grandma a devotional book for Christmas called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Grandma and I decided to talk each night and share our devotion for the day. It was a beautiful time, just a few minutes where she and I would read, talk, and pray together. Sometimes Grandma would understand the devotion right away and sometimes she needed me to explain it to her. Those moments were so precious that words really do fail to capture them.
Since the Grands came up here last June, we haven't been sharing our devotion as often because we see each other more and we just never got in the habit of it. But more and more we have been reading them together again. Grandma always reads hers at night and tells me how much it meant to her. She asks me if I read mine. Now that she's on the Exelon medicine for her thinking, she usually doesn't need me to explain it. That's a beautiful thing.
So last night I called around 8:45 and we decided to share our devotion. This devotion, written from the perspective of Jesus as if He were talking directly to us, said, "Seek my face more and more. You are really just beginning your journey of intimacy with Me. It is not an easy road, but it is a delightful and privileged way; a treasure hunt. I am the Treasure, and the Glory of My Presence glistens and shimmers along the way. Hardships are part of the journey, too. I mete them out ever so carefully, in just the right dosage, with a tenderness you can hardly imagine. Do not recoil from afflictions, since they are among My most favored gifts. Trust Me and don't be afraid, for I am your Strength and your Song."
After I read this, I said that the part about God meting out hardships was hard to accept. I wasn't even really sure I agreed with that, but then if God is omnipotent He has to allow the afflictions because He could stop them at any time. Really, God is a confusing subject, way bigger than I will ever understand. And I'm perfectly happy with that, because I am far far far from omnipotent or omniscient. But when it comes to ideas like God metes out hardships, I struggle. The childlike part of me thinks, 'Why would God want to do that?' I was thinking of Grandpa and his suffering. I was thinking about all of the suffering I've endured and the suffering I see in others, especially the innocent and vulnerable. Why, Lord?
I know there are complicated theological explanations for all of this, but I think Grandma's was far more amazing than any of them. When I said that it was hard to accept that God has a hand in our afflictions, she got that strong undertone in her voice, that authority that says she knows she's right about something, and she said, "No, Lara, the fact is that the Lord has to take us home some way. We're all going to have something wrong with us so He can take us home. Now that's just common sense. And this thing with Grandpa, well, that's the Lord's way. We all have to go some way. It's just common sense. And I just treasure each day with him. When we are here, just the two of us, it's so peaceful. I'm so content. These are precious days. I want you to do the same thing, Lara. Treasure each day."
Treasure each day. That's Grandma's lesson to me, one that I think is too often lost on me. I have the illusion of time, the belief that there is plenty of time for what I want to do and who I want to spend time with. The idea that there are no guarantees is true, but sometimes it is meaningless to me because of that illusion of time. But I'm learning. I'm learning to treasure the days with my sweet Grands because I know they are so few. I just pray that I can treasure all my days and all those precious moments in life that only happen once. Because truly, nothing ever happens more than once. And there will come a day when my Grands will no longer be here. That day is in the not-too-distant future.
I think about this with my son, too. There will come a day when my son no longer lives in my house. The day has already come when he will never again sit on my lap. I miss those precious moments. I console myself with the thought that there will other treasured moments to take their place, but really that is feeding the illusion of time, too. I can't really know that. Even with my husband, will I someday look back on these times and wish I had treasured them more because they are gone forever?
I think we avoid thinking about things like this because it seems depressing and morbid. We don't like to think about loss, about how brief life really is. But if we don't face the reality of loss, will we ever fully embrace the reality of joy? Can we treasure our days without facing the reality of loss? Or do we remain trapped in the illusion of time?
My grandma has no illusion of time, and it has sweetened each day of her life. My grandma is a very wise woman.