Saturday, August 21, 2010

#54 - A Tribute to Grandma

Well.... today was the viewing for Grandma. She looked so beautiful. :) We went shopping Wednesday for an outfit for grandma to be buried in.... honestly, the outfit was perfect. Even more perfect because dad picked it out. It was a black & white jacket with a trendy black belt across the middle, a lavender blouse, a black skirt...... and it was important to dad that she even had on all the proper under garments.... despite the fact that no one would see them. Grandma got a new padded bra, underwear & black pantie hose. It made me smile. Dad is so sweet. He wanted grandma to go out in go out wearing something SHE would've picked out. Something SHE would've been proud to wear. And, I believe she was looking down in complete pleasure. She looked great. Now, in her glorious body. Now, not a tiny 80 pounds.... but a healthy weight, perfect & whole in every way. Truly dancing with Jesus. I can see her now.... her excitement like a child as she walks down the streets of gold, ooooohing & ahhhhhhhhing all the sparkles & shine. I can just see her childlike smile & excitement. "Whoopty-Doooo"

My grandma went home to be with Jesus. I know she is happy & I know she is in a better place. I am very happy for her.

Yesterday, we spent much of the day looking through boxes and boxes and bins and boxes of photos. Wow! We went through so many pictures. My sweet husband went and scanned all of them only a disk...203 that we picked out to be exact. Then.... last night began the project that wouldn't be completed until 5:30 this morning. I began the slide-show.... working for perfection. Working towards what would be the perfect tribute to grandma's life. What would show her childhood, teen years, relationship with her husband of 62 years, her love for life, her love for her family.... her life... her memories.... the lives she affected. Originally, I knew that it would be mine & Tyler's job to do this slideshow when the day came.... I was not sure if it would be a "tear-jerker" or if it would be more upbeat & celebratory. Well.... I believe the divine intervention was made.... I believe it was a perfect tribute to who grandma was. Her life. She lived life so well. She lived life with such fervor & joy. What a life she lived. To be happy & smile as much as she did is a true testimony to "LIVING". Not just making it through the day, but truly LIVING LIFE. SHE LIVED!

It has been a long few days. A long few days with little sleep. But, what a blessing the days have been. Tuesday we got the call. Mom was crying on the phone at noon. I talked to dad about 12:30. Dad, being a pretty "level-headed" person...... well, when he said we might want to come home if we wanted to see her alive, I knew that it was serious. I booked a flight for Tyler, Teej & I and we left the house by 1:30 to make it to the airport. Our flight arrived at 8:45 p.m. in South Bend and we headed straight to the nursing home.

Grandma waited for me. I believe she waited up just for me. She has been in an Alzheimer's unit for the last 3 years and she broke her hip 2 weeks ago. As I walked in the room, I saw my grandma. She was hooked up to a breathing unit and didn't quite look like my grandma. She had lost more weight & dropped to about 80 pounds. Her eyes were sunken in, and her body just clearly showed skin & bones. She was ready to go meet Jesus, to go get her new, heavenly body. She looked ready.

What a night we had. What a blessed time. So many people I loved in that room. I sat on the side of her bed holding her hand, my sister Angie sat there, Kimmi, my mom & dad. Kevin & Tyler. There in the room we just sang. We sang hymns and songs. We just sang.

What I really wanted to do was to tell her how much her life mattered. At first I thought that I would want to be alone.... but, it just felt so right. I didn't care if people were in the room. I was holding her hand and just told her how special she was. I told her that her life mattered, that she did things that counted. I told her that she began a legacy that was going to continue. That I, Tyler, & her 6th grandchild Tyler Junior were going to do HUGE things to impact this world for Jesus. I told her SHE MATTERED. I told her what she taught me. What I learned from her, that she taught me how to love and how to serve. That I made mashie eggies for Tyler the other day and thought of her. They weren't as good as how grandma made them though. No one made mashie eggies like grandma. I told her that I appreciated her always going downstairs when we came over and bringing me up a Mountain Dew when I came over. She was such a servant. I just wanted her to know that SHE COUNTED. Her life MEANT SOMETHING. I have heard that is the biggest thing people wondered when they were on their death bed. "Did my life count? Did I do anything that mattered?" She really did. She made my life so happy. She brought so many good memories to my life. I told her thank you for all the shopping trips she took me on. I told her thank you for taking me to G.L.Perry's when I was little and buying me toys... I reminded her of when she told me to get lost, and I did. She eventually found me back by the fishie's. I just thanked her for how much she loved us. I most importantly wanted to pour into her life. I wanted to pour into her how much she mattered. I just wanted to encourage her before she went to meet Jesus. Seeing her struggle to breathe made me just want her to be able to meet Him. And... I told her that I would believe with her for complete healing on earth if she wanted, BUT... if she just wanted to go home and be with Jesus now, she could. She had permission. She was released to go. I told her it was OK for her to go now. We loved her and we would miss her, but she could go be with Jesus. About three hours later, that is exactly what she did. But grandma waited for me. That is so much like grandma. I was the only one who hadn't really gotten to say bye yet. Jamie was home a few weeks ago and said bye... I was the last that needed to say bye. I believe grandma held on long enough just for me. For her Amy Jo.

I loved her so much. I still love her. We will miss her. But, wow, did she live life. I don't ever remember grandma having "bitterness" towards anyone. She really did just love. Unconditionally. Even if she may have known someone was lying through their teeth. She just loved.

Grandma.... I love you soooooo much! You looked so pretty today. When we say our final good-byes tomorrow.... when we see your fleshly body for one last time, I just want you to know you will be missed. But thank you SOOOOO much for waiting for your Amy Jo. You are so sweet. I'm so thankful that you waited for me to get home to say good bye. Thank you Grandma!!!!

I hope you liked your Tribute. The Celebration of your life!! It is SO you grandma! The Elvis songs, and all the fun pictures. We will remember the good times and remember what you taught us, to love.

See you one day again...I love you!
Amy Jo

Check out the video from her viewing.... a celebration of her life:
The Legacy of Imogene Mae Ellis


jburton said...

Really touching...I hope that one daysomeone will be ables to say those things about me.

Amy J. McCart said...

I'm sure you will have an army of people saying those things! You have impacted the lives of so many!!! What a blessing you and Sara are to so many!

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