15 September 2008


I started this posts days ago, actually, on September 3. I wanted to add this particularly photo but found difficulty scanning it until this weekend. It was taken the last time I was with Grandma, celebrating Easter, 2003.
And so the post began...

Today would have been my Grandma's birthday, a mere 104 years old.
It's strange that she has been gone already five years.
Her life was full of love and vitality, even near the end.
I certainly loved knowing her and being loved by her. I know we all miss her warmth and richness, not to mention her sparkling brown eyes and quick laugh.

I was reminded of her and reminded of this post, actually, as I read homework this weekend. We're reading The Congruent Life by c. Michael Thompson.
He outlines this view,
"In this culture, we have no concept whatsoever
of this interesting concept we call the 'present'...
We are constantly living in the future,
and everything we do is designed to get it here more quickly.
It's as if we are constantly
pulling the fabric of time toward ourselves,
ill-content to let it flow towards us at its own pace,
and thus unable to appreciate,
much less fully enjoy, the richness of the fabric
that might at this moment be in our hands."

As I drove home yesterday reflecting on that reading, I remembered how Grandma used to wonder aloud why she was still living. Her mind was sharp even though, as she quickly acknowledged, her body was failing. But there she was, nearly 100 years old, wondering at times why God held her here.

So I wonder if it was because she learned how to be present? She was such an encouragement to people who worked at the nursing home where she lived. She was a joy to all who visited her, or visited her roommates, for that matter. It was not only her eyes that sparkled. Grandma sparkled. Of course she had her moments, what 98 year old woman wouldn't? But for the most part, Jennie Hubers Van Roekel blessed those who were in her presence. I think because she could offer her presence, be fully present, as it were, to those around her. Sure, she walked the pathway of past moments and experiences, too. But when you sat with her, her focus was you. It was such a gift.

1 comment:

Jewels said...

Your grandma sounds wonderful Gracie! What a great memory...