Friday, September 26, 2008

"Rest In Peace And Awake In Glory"

I've found a very suitable tribute to Grandma over at my sister-in-law, Kathy's, blog, No Disclaimers:
I am sorry for the slacking; I have had every intention of posting more often, but the next post simply had to be this one, and to write it properly I needed a bit of time--which, as usual, has been hard to come by.
On September 10, my husband's grandmother, Betty Hood, died at the age of 89. You can see a picture of her here, on my brother-in-law's blog (while you're there, be sure to check out the pics of my beautiful niece).

Betty had been going downhill for a long time, and had been in pain, and she was ready. She'd actually been ready for longer than that, since 1993, when her husband Bill died. She got herself ready to be called home, convinced it wouldn't be that long until the Lord called her to follow Bill.
But Betty had work yet to do. I always knew that Betty was a prayer warrior; in fact, I used her frequently in my sermons as an example of utmost faithfulness in even the most limited and limiting of situations. I often pictured her sitting in the little scooter she used to zip around in, single-handedly waging war on the Devil--and winning.

However, there is a story that I didn't hear until after she died that made me realize what a warrior Betty truly was--at least in the eyes of some. Most of us thought, with a mixture of affection and exasperation, that Betty just loved to complain. That's pretty typical of elderly people--the smaller your world gets, the bigger the details become in your mind, so the fewer things you can just let go. But after she died, one of her friends from the nursing home came into her room to see her, to say goodbye, and she began to cry and said, "Who's going to stand up for us now?"

What some of saw as just old-person crankiness was heroism in the lives of those who had no one else to stand for them. Betty didn't just complain about things, she got them fixed. She didn't just tell you what was wrong, she told you how to do it right--and as often as not kept at you until you did it right. For her friends in the nursing home, Betty got done things they couldn't do for themselves. She stood up for them, she spoke for them, she made sure that their concerns were taken seriously. She was their hero, and they loved her.

Betty Hood may have been old, overweight, and confined to a wheelchair. But in every way that matters, she was a warrior and a hero. I am honored beyond telling to have belonged to her family for so long, and I am grateful to God for letting my children sit at the feet of such a hero and learn from her.

Go with God, Grandma, in that place where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting. Pray for us who remain, that our hearts will be comforted, until we see you again.
There's so much more than can be said, but I think Kathy hit the nail on the head.


Anonymous Mom Teel said...

Grandma was a sweetheart. Thank you again, both Mark & Kathy.

26 September, 2008  

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