Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for You are with me.
This is my Gramma. She will be 97 tomorrow! Can you believe it? 97! When I think about her longevity, it could be due to her content nature and that she doesn’t worry often or complain. She’ll eat anything, talk to anyone, and plays games. She is also always very thankful. These personal attributes have done well for her these many years. But mostly when I think of her accomplishment of years, I think to myself, “Wow! Gramma must’ve really honored her parents!”
“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
The funniest conversation I ever had with my gramma was when I was 17 and she told me I could get away with being in a bad mood because I was a pretty girl. If I weren’t so cute, I couldn’t do that. Ha!
I admire my gramma because of how she raised her sons. She always immersed herself in everything her sons ever did. She knows everything about the orchestra because she put my dad in violin lessons from the time he was a little guy. Then she became an expert in jazz bands because of her twin sons, Donny & Ronny. And finally, she’s a rodeo expert because of Uncle Tim, who is 18 years younger than my dad. She was into what her kids were into, and each one excelled professionally in their area. Amazing.
These last few days, though, she sleeps a lot, and now she has a hospice nurse. My parents are with her, and her days are coming to a close now. My mom texts me updates all day, and the updates are that she sleeps, gets agitated in her sleep, my dad holds her hand and calms her down, and then she goes back to sleep. It’s common for a person in Gramma’s condition. But my mom also texted me what she thinks is going on with Gramma right now, and it makes sense to me.
My mom texted Psalm 23:4 to me. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me. My dad is just reassuring her that Jesus is with her. Death is scary, and no one is ready for it no matter how old you are. But God is with her because, even as old as she is, she is his little girl. And he wouldn’t send her through anything scary alone.
So that’s why we sit with our dying loved ones even when they are not conscious. We hold their hands and reassure them for Jesus until the moment he is ready to take her hand himself and take her to be with him forever. She may have some agitated sleep right now because that's how the Bible describes death, but she’s going to wake up with HIM very soon. And I am so thankful.
I thank you for my Gramma. Thank you for her example of thankfulness and contentment. Thank you for my parents’ example of honoring her too. I will miss her. I like hearing her say, “Well, Good” and “Hi” with her Texas lilt in her voice. She is fun to play cards with and hear stories from, and she traveled to be at my wedding and to meet my kids. Thank you for blessing her with good health and a long life. Thank you that my dad is holding her hand till you’re ready to take it yourself. And THANK YOU that your promise of eternal life is REAL and I will indeed hear her “Well, Good” and “HI” again. Amen.
Turns out my Gramma is an artist and no one knew it! Here’s what she’s been up to the last couple years...