One of the primary reasons we decided to go ahead and publish this book last December was my Grandma Jones. I felt the best place to launch the book was in Broken Bow, NE at the fair. It made sense considering that’s where part of the book took place. The fair only happens once a year, the first week in August and last December, when we were considering this option my Grandma was 96. I desperately wanted Grandma to see the finished product since she IS the Grandma in the book. She has also been my best and most constant encourager over the years. Almost every time I would call her she would ask, “how is your book coming, Miriam?” She was excited when I gave her the rough draft shortly after finishing it and she read it with great delight. So, when I realized that the chances of having another year at the fair with Grandma still around were not very likely, my husband and I decided to go for it.
Sure enough, after 7 months of work, nail biting, and angst, the finished product came squeaking in just in the nick of time. We made it to the fair with the book in hand and I even was able to read some of it to Grandma. She was delighted to see it and hold it in her hands, even though she wasn’t able to see it clearly, or really concentrate on the book. She enjoyed all of the activity surrounding the books launch too.
Last week I went home for a book signing and to go help Grandma celebrate her 97th birthday. She was in pain, tired, and frustrated with her inability to enjoy the day like she wanted and we all hurt with her. My Dad had commented after the fair that God was still using her as a testimony to others and she was bringing glory to Him through her thankful attitude even in the face of such minimal “quality of life.” He pointed out that when God’s purpose for her was done, then He would release her to go to heaven.
Early this morning He did just that and my Grandma stepped into heaven. She sees perfectly now. She can walk, run, and express her thoughts clearly again. There is no pain. She is with Grandpa and all of the others that have gone on before her. And, most importantly, she is with Jesus. I am thankful that she was my Grandma. I am thankful that she was such a godly lady, one who lived the verse from Proverbs 31. Verse 26 says, “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” I NEVER heard Grandma say anything unkind about anyone. I only wish that could be said about me.
I hope you have someone in your life that has been your example of a godly woman. I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her influence. I will miss her desperately, but I am so glad she is finally home.
Finally Home by Don Wyrtzen
But just think of stepping on shore
And finding it heaven
Of touching a hand and finding it God’s
Of breathing new air and finding it celestial
Of waking up in glory and finding it home
When engulfed by the terror
Of tempestuous sea
Unknown waves before you roll
At the end of doubt and peril is eternity
Though fear and conflict seize your soul
When surrounded by the blackness
Of the darkest night
O how lonely death can be
At the end of this long tunnel
Is a shining light
For death is swallowed up in victory