Friday, February 4, 2011

A descendant of prophets

"I pray that I'll be a blessing to someone."
I think the first time I came across such a statement I was reading a blog by literary agent Rachelle Gardner or Christian author Mary DeMuth.

I never really understood the weight of those words until recently. . .

* * *

"I just talked to mom. The nursing home has called the family and the pastor in. Grandma's not doing well."

My stomach knotted at the words my sister uttered on the phone.

I wasn't surprised. Health-wise, things hadn't looked cheery for Grandma Pearl since suffering from a horrible bout of pneumonia before Christmas. As I hung up the phone that morning and went back to work, I talked myself into denial.

Grandma was going to be fine. For 97 years, she'd found amazing ways to bounce back from some pretty terrible circumstances.

As blessings would have it, that morning was no exception.

Although caregivers at the nursing home had told the family she was unresponsive, when the pastor came in she opened her eyes and asked, "What'd you think? I was dying?"

In reality, Grandma knew her health was failing. I'd be willing to bet she knew she'd just stepped up to that line between life and death -- maybe even stuck her pinky toe across it. But it didn't keep her from cracking a good joke.

That's just the kind of person she was.

Grandma Pearl had a way of making the rough spots in life easy with a smile.

When I went to visit her that night, she didn't linger on sad goodbyes.

"You come and see me again," she said. Her courage didn't waver.

I, on the other hand, walked out of her room and crumbled into my mother's arms. In my heart, I knew it would be the last time I'd talk to her.

A few days later, at Grandma Pearl's funeral, I looked around at the number of people crowded into St. John Church. I marveled at the fact that my 6-year-old niece cried just as hard as me, my 38-year-old cousin and my Grandma's elderly sisters.

The pastor said my great-grandparents were prophets. How else would they have known to give her such a fitting name: Pearl?

I couldn't help but feel blessed that God had granted me the privilege of being the granddaughter of such a courageous and lively woman.

That's when I realized what being a blessing to others truly meant. Now, thanks to Grandma Pearl, it's something I'll pray for everyday.


Jill said...

Grandma always made each and every one of us feel special. That was her gift. I miss her so much already.

Amy said...

Well said dear cousin, well said.

Sarah Bromley said...

That's a beautiful post, Kat. May she rest in peace and may you gain comfort in knowing she is at rest and will be remembered by many people for years to come.