Monday, July 30, 2007

one of the hardest things I have ever done...

Today, we buried my grandmother. It was a tough week to be quite honest. I am so a first born child. I have gone all week making sure that I was strong for everyone. It hit me this morning in the shower. I sobbed. It has been a long time since I have done that sort of thing. I had been up late making sure that what I was planning to say about my grandmother was perfect. Well, it did not come out perfect, but I think people who attended her celebration were on the same page. But this morning in the shower, this last week caught up with me. I had all of those stories fresh in my mind. I become overwhelmed with love for my Grandmother. As my family slept, I wept. It was uncontrollable. I had all of this emotion bottled up inside of me and it just burst. When i recovered, I knew I was ready to read my Grandmothers eulogy. It felt good to get that off my chest. It felt good to finally mourn. In that grieving I found acceptance.

This was my Grandmother's funeral, but I struggled with the fact that I never really had any closure with the death of my Grandfather. His funeral was not well planned, to no fault of anyone. I think we were all still in shock. Today, I opened with a few words about my Grandparents as a couple. I talked about how they were different, yet complimented each other so well. I was blessed by their example of marriage. I loved them both very much. Upon saying that last statement, I had to pause to take a deep breath. Closure. Finally, I felt like I could finally move on.

I shared all about how Grandma Perky ( which is what Maddie and Caroline have always called her) was all about serving her family, her friends, and anyone else she came in contact with over the years. I shared about how she was a beautiful example of love. I talked about Francis Chan's quote, "Love is when service doesn't feel like service." I described how Grnadmother lived that exact statement. She loved us so much that when she cared for us, it wasn't like work. She lived to do such things for everyone.

I finally tied in the fact that her being a seamstress was no mistake. She spent her entire life always sewing, patching, and mending our lives together as a family. A beautiful example of love.

I felt guilty as family members thanked me for doing the eulogy. I just wanted Grandma to have her time today. To share something about her, that would make her proud. I could not afford to wait eight years for closure, and neither could the rest of my family. I love them too much to allow that to happen again. There was no need to thank me, congratulate me, or even tell me how proud they were of how I shared Grandma's life. She deserved it. I do not deserve the praise. I shared from my heart. I hope I shared from everyone else's hearts as well.

My Aunts and Uncles will never comprehend how much I love them. I try to tell them, but words just don't seem like enough to do justice. My cousins...well, I can't not put into words how much I look up to them, how much I respect what they have done with their lives, and how proud I am of who they have become as people. They all have had a huge impact on my life and the person I have grown to become throughout my lifetime. I can't thank them enough. I just hope they know that when I hugged them today and told them I loved them, it is love beyond measure...

I wanted to share this scripture today, but felt I was going long so I did not...so I will share it now...

1 Corinthians 13

1 I may speak in different languages of people or even angels. But if I do not have love, I am only a noisy bell or a crashing cymbal. 2 I may have the gift of prophecy. I may understand all the secret things of God and have all knowledge, and I may have faith so great I can move mountains. But even with all these things, if I do not have love, then I am nothing. 3 I may give away everything I have, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing if I do not have love.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.5 Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. 6 Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. 7 Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures.

8 Love never ends. There are gifts of prophecy, but they will be ended. There are gifts of speaking in different languages, but those gifts will stop. There is the gift of knowledge, but it will come to an end.9 The reason is that our knowledge and our ability to prophesy are not perfect.10 But when perfection comes, the things that are not perfect will end.11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I stopped those childish ways.12 It is the same with us. Now we see a dim reflection, as if we were looking into a mirror, but then we shall see clearly. Now I know only a part, but then I will know fully, as God has known me.13 So these three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.

4 comments:

jaki good said...

marty - this was a beautiful, eloquent post - i am so fortunate to know you.

i am VERY excited about your SLR!! the four of us need to get together soon!!

The Fixit Dude said...

Brother, I know what you mean. The strange thing is that I was there just a month ago. Almost same situation, looking for strength and courage to say the "right" words and deliver without breaking down with emotion. If it's any consolation, I know there are at least two grandmas in heaven that are as proud as they can be.

David Gannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Gannon said...

Marty,

The true test of a person's spiritual life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does in the ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening. A person's worth is revealed in his attitude toward the ordinary things of life when he is not under the spotlight. (Check out John 1:35-37 and 3:30).

It is difficult to get into stride with God, because as soon as we start walking with Him we find that His pace has surpassed us before we have even taken three steps. It is painful work to get in step with God and to keep pace with Him- it means getting your second wind spiritually. In learning to walk with God, there is always the difficulty of getting into His stride, but once we have done so, the only characteristic that exhibits itself is the very life of God Himself. The individual person is merged into a personal oneness with God, and God's stride and His power alone are exhibited.

-Fly With Christ, David Gannon