Life has a way of happening whether we’re prepared for it or not. Sometimes we plan it, and other times it plans us.
My parents came to visit the week after Christmas. They had spent Christmas day and a few days following with my grandparents and other family members in Orange County, CA. When my parents came here, they shared with us how my Grandmother’s health was declining. The day before Christmas she was placed on hospice and the doctors gave her six months to live.
At first the news shocked me, but it also wasn’t too surprising. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve thought about how her and my Grandpa are getting older too (unfortunately, that’s just the way it works). And sadly with age will come death. The death rate continues to hover right at hundred percent. No one gets a pass.
Last week, I received the news that my Grandmother wasn’t doing well. Her final days were approaching. The six months we all thought we’d have quickly evaporated to days. I was able to get a flight to So Cal on Thursday and arrived at the house at 9pm. At midnight, she was in the presence of Jesus. All her pain and suffering gone in an instance.
Saying goodbye is never easy. I don’t think its supposed to be. It will/should always feel awkward, uncomfortable.
We were created for so much more than this life can offer.
We were created for eternity.
A few days before my Grandmother passed away, I wrote this letter to her and my Grandfather. This is a glimpse into who she was.
Dear Grandma & Grandpa,
I was thinking about you tonight, and wanted to share with you some of the ways you helped shape my life.
Gm, I will always think of you when I see a crossword puzzle. Your brilliant mind amazed me. As a kid, I thought it was natural for grown ups to be smart, then I became one. Now I realize that to be smart you actually have to use your mind. Thanks for using yours so well.
Gp, you are not far from my mind whenever I drink coffee. Your love for coffee made me love coffee. Coffee brings more than just a warm drink; it brings the warmth of friendship too. I always loved it how you spent time with your friends over a cup o’ coffee.
Gm, at an early age, you put a love for California in my heart. I never would have thought I would end up where I am, but it’s something I will always treasure. Thank you.
Gp, you always made me laugh and take life less seriously. For my personality, that’s a good thing.
Gm, whenever I can’t seem to keep up with the laundry, I think of you and wonder how you did such a good job of it. The hamper was almost always empty.
Gp, there will never be a garage that compares to yours.
I have so many wonderful memories of you both growing up. From waiting for you to arrive at the Charleston airport to dinners at K&W cafeteria. Your visits brightened our home and our hearts.
Thank you for investing in us, for taking us on vacations, and for providing a fun experience at your house whenever we came to visit.
Thank you for helping me during my college years and for supporting me. You helped me get a good start when I went out on my own for the first time. Those years shaped my life more than I thought possible.
Thank you for your kindness and generosity, I will always strive to do the same.
Thank you for always modeling love, grace, and living life joyfully.
I’m praying for you both and I do plan and hope to see you again soon. Please know how much I love and adore you.
“God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
Bonnie Claire Betzer
Born: March 7, 1927
Died: January 18, 2013