18 April 2011

Day Sixty-Five: Speaking of Maggie

Eighteen years ago today, one of the most influential women in my life passed away, sitting alone in a nursing home. I was supposed to be with her, but I wasn’t. I stayed up all night doing laundry and chatting with the neighbor instead of being a good granddaughter and going to bed so that I could make the 45 mile drive to visit her the next morning.

It was lunch time when my phone rang. When I heard my aunt’s voice, it was like time stopped. I knew what she was going to say before she said it. She asked me if I had made it to visit grandma that morning and I told her no, and asked was she ok. At first my aunt said no, then she said that yes, grandma was ok, that she was healed now.

My grandma, Maggie Pressley Spence, died of a heart attack at the same time I would have been there, had I been there at my usual visiting time. But I wasn't. For years, I have felt intense grief and guilt over this and at the same time felt that Heavenly Father kept me up all night with the neighbor so that I would not witness the death of one of the women that I love most on this earth. Some folks call it providential hindrance because He knew that I would not be able to handle her leaving and the distance was needed to help maintain my sanity.

I do not know what I should be thinking about it all, but I do know what I feel. I feel sorry that I wasn’t there for my grandma when she needed me the most. She was always there for me. She never abandoned me. She was my rock and I let her down.

Human abandonment aside, I know that ultimately my grandma was not alone. Her Lord and Savior was there to carry her home, where there would be no more tears, no more pain, no more good-byes, no more forgetting and more love than we could ever imagine.

65. I am thankful for a grandma that loved me, that was always there for me. I am thankful that she no longer suffers and will always remember. I am thankful that she gave life to my mama so that I might be born and know the love of a precious grandma that always put others before herself. I am thankful for the hugs and the stories and her soft skin. I am thankful for the acceptance and understanding that only she could give to me.

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
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  1. What a beautiful way to show and share your love for your grandma. I lost my mom 15 years ago and a few weeks ago my fahter passed. Sometimes there just are no words. Here's my post about my loss.


    I hope your memories bring you comfort today.

  2. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comments, Lori. I am so sorry for the loss of your mama and the recent loss of your daddy.

    I have visited your blog and commented there, too. You're in my prayers.

  3. My grandmother who raised me died a state away. She was 94 and had been in a nursing home for 3 months after breaking a hip. I had 5 children, no family help to watch the kids so I could go visit - I too have grieved because I wasn't able to be there with the lady I loved so much, who taught me how to be strong. God gave me a sweet blessing, though. They called, Sunday evening saying "any time" - I went outside, faced north, read Proverbs 31 and prayed for her before I left for an evening of worship at church. She died during our praise and worship service. To this day, I believe that God let me feel her spirit pass to the other side during that time, that I was with her as her spirit was freed! We are both blessed to have been loved by these women! And, we both continue to pass those blessings down as a rich heritage!

  4. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting here. I am sorry that you weren't able to be with your grandma in person, either. I am glad that you felt a connection with her at her time of passing. What an awesome feeling that must have been.

    Yes, we have both been very blessed to have been loved by such wonderful women. May Our Father continue to bless you. :)