There’s something about the final week of July and the women in my life.
I’m not one to be superstitiuous. Not that at all. Bear with me.
This past week my 94 year old Grandma went Home after being bedridden for over 10 years
She was a sharecropper’s daughter who spent part of her childhood moving from farm to farm in a truck. I’m sure those early roots were part of what made her so tough, opinionated, and gritty.
She also clung to her faith in Jesus, though the last dozen years of her life were probably her hardest, darkest days. In her dementia, she was often unkind and tough to manage, but she never forgot about Jesus and heaven!
She shares her Homegoing week with my sis-in-love, one of the “grittiest” women I have ever known.
My lovely sis faced suffering, pain, and death with courage, faith, and love.
She was full of grit and grace.
I sat by a third death-bed this week in July nine years ago. Such a different kind of grit in this little woman — my husband’s grandmother!
We visited her frequently (six hour round trip for us every few weeks) at the assisted living home where family had mutually agreed for her to live.
She needed 24/7 care and therapy, and none of us could give her that. She was angry and bitter for the last six months of her life. She dug in her heels and refused to be happy or even try to recover. In the end, her grit did her in.
Sitting by three different deathbeds makes me face my own mortality. How well will I face death?
Only God knows the day, time, and circumstances surrounding my Homegoing. One thing is certain, death is inescapable.
“All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.” I Peter 1:24-25
Coming to grips with life’s frailty is our first step toward “good grit”.
Psalm 144: 4 “Man is like a breath. His days are as a shadow that passes away.”
If we think we have forever, then we forget that every day matters! Those we touch with our words and actions will carry those memories for good or ill. Forgiveness and acceptance take grit — the kind of grit needed to get over ourselves or to move on when life isn’t fair.
Don’t waste your one and only life being a “tough old bird”!
The best grit comes from humble, grateful dependance on God!
When I say “best grit” it reminds me of sandpaper. The roughest grit is only good for the rough projects. The “fine” grit helps bring the final polish to beautiful furniture!
We want the grit that brings beauty.
God’s unchangeable Word is the bedrock of our grit. “The Word of our God stands FOREVER…”
My Grandma talked frequently of Heaven. “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. In My Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would I have told you. I go to prepare a place for you…” (words of Christ). This good news bolstered her when facing another bedridden day felt like more than she could bear.
My sis never forgot in her pain and misery that God is good, and HIs love for her is unchanging. She heard and believed the Good News that Christ died for sinners. So she gave thanks, even on her deathbed. Beautiful grit polished her lovely soul!
It’s up to us, my dear caregiving friends, to keep ourselves in the eternal Word that builds our faith — and gives us the grit to go on.
I’m grateful for the lessons these women of grit taught me.
What kind of grit do you have?
Grit with grace! That’s what I pray for you as you care for your loved one.