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I went to Ridgecrest this weekend,

for no particular reason, except that my husband was out of town…and I was bored. So I trucked the 4 hour road trip with my three kiddos. One of them vomited about 6 times during the trip which had me eager to get there, fast. We spent the next three days with more vomit, a doctor’s visit, and the inability to do much with friends and family.

But then Sunday arrived. I woke up not realizing what my family would be faced with that morning. My grandmother had been sick for some time. She was battling severe pneumonia with her already weakened and fragile body. I knew I had to see her before I traveled back home that morning. My plan was to send my 2 healthy kids to church with my mother-in-law and then go visit my grandmother in the hospital. After dropping off the 2 older ones, I got the message that it was time. She had no time left at all- I ran back over to the church and had my brother-in-law Frank take Miller back to his house. Lucky for me, my husband’s family took care of everything and I was able to get back to the hospital right away.

So I went, and I walked in. There was my whole family surrounding her in her bed. They were rubbing her legs, telling her how much she was loved and thanking her for all of the wonderful memories. She had just opened her eyes, undoubtedly a sign from God that she was saying goodbye. With tears running down all of our faces, she took her very last breath and my grandfather said, Goodbye honey, I love you.” We all stood there in complete silence not quite realizing what had just happened.

Really? I just watched my grandmother pass on? I was not prepared for that nor was I prepared to realize the hidden blessings within all of this. How awesomely divine was it that every single one of us was there to comfort and support her as she transitioned into Heaven? She waited to leave this Earth until each one of us showed up in the emergency room. I was the last one there, and then she went. None of us will ever feel the guilt or sadness that some people feel when they don’t get a chance to say goodbye. We were all given that wonderful opportunity. She looked at everyone, like she was saying goodbye. It was such a sweet exit that we all witnessed with almost no pain for her at all. Yes, we miss her dearly, but we have all taken extreme comfort in knowing that the Lord had His hand over all of this, guiding her through each step until she met Him above. I can only hope that we all leave this Earth the same way.

Afterward, we all met at my dad’s house. Naturally, we each shared our fondest memories of her. My brother and I shared how our childhood was so lovingly enhanced because she was always there. We spent all of our holidays at her house and we stayed many nights with her watching movies and playing with all of her animals. My dad and his siblings all shared how lucky they were to have been given such a wonderful mother. I learned many things about her on that day. She protected those kids like nothing else and probably saved their lives on multiple occasions. As they recollected old memories, I learned of the various ways she showed love in the midst of hardship. It was like she was teaching me, through their words, how to love completely and unconditionally.

She’s been through trial after trial, and through it all, until the day she died, she carried the sweetest smile on her beautiful face.

She was indeed beautiful, on the outside for sure, but her heart was the most beautiful asset she had been given. I thank you Lord for every moment you gave her to me and my family. Without her ever knowing, she changed all of our lives and stood as a solid rock in this world.

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