Thursday, May 24, 2007

Longing for heaven

Tuesday night was one of the first times in my life, unfortunately, that I've had an incredible longing to be in heaven. Let me explain: I want to be in heaven, but I've never really felt like I'd rather be there than here at any particular moment in my life.

But Tuesday night, I visited my maternal grandmother for the last time. I didn't get to talk to her because she was asleep when I arrived at her home. But I stood in her room for quite some time just watching her struggle to get enough air into her lungs. Despite the struggle, she looked quite peaceful. When it was time for her nurses to check her blood pressure and clean her bed, we left the room. About 15 minutes later, they rushed out of the room and told us she was gone.

Violet Elliott was an angel of a woman. She weighed less than 90 pounds when she died, and I can't imagine she was ever much more than 100 pounds. But what she lacked in size, she made up for in love and compassion. Many of the things I'll never forget about her revolve around the food she used to make. She had a servant's heart and loved to feed people when they visited her house. Some of my favorites were her sweet pickles and cherry cheesecake (not at the same time).

Well, when my grandma died Tuesday night I knew she was finally getting to wrap her arms around her husband (my grandfather died in 1998) and look upon the face of Jesus. That's when I started longing to be gone from here.

I just kept picturing her with a new body, looking like a beautiful young woman, running to my grandpa for one of those movie-ending embraces. Then, watching her turn around and see Jesus walking toward her to welcome her with open arms. I know He said, "Well done, good and faithful servant," to both my grandparents.

I'm incredibly thankful for the lives of my maternal grandparents. They gave me a mom who is gentle, loving, faithful and selfless. Hopefully, I can carry on those traits half as well as she has.

Now that I've been able to process the loss of my grandma for a few days, I'm glad I'm here on earth because I know I've got plenty to do before my time comes to reunite with them. I hope when I die, people will think of me in a similar light as I do them. They weren't well-known. They weren't outspoken. They weren't rich. All they were is faithful and loving. That's what I want to be.

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