Has it really been 14 years? It feels like yesterday so often yet other days it feels like a million years ago, Life was hard at that time. Like, really, really hard. We were sad a lot and needed you. It didn't seem right for you to leave us.
But, Jesus had different plans.
What did you do when you first got to heaven? I mean, I know you saw Jesus. I can only imagine your reactions. I know one, thing you, didn't enter the Pearly Gates quietly. Was Dennis, your son there to greet you? How long did it take to find your parents and sister, Mary. Does Vestal sing a lot? I bet she does! Do you ever get to peek in on us and see us?
When it was time for Grandpa to come, did God tell you ahead of time, "Hey Ruby, today is the day, I'm bringing Melvin home." I like to think you greeted Grandpa when he came too. I like to think you greet a lot of people up there!
I miss you so much. This time of year especially. Memorial Day weekend you left us. I remember the phone ringing on that Sunday afternoon. I was in my room and heard Dad answer. He said "Hello" then a pause and a "we're on our way." and then he yelled for all of us. Within minutes we were out the door. On the way to Mt. Vernon, Mom used the big ole car phone (we don't really have those now, we have these awesome things called Smart Phones-ask God to explain it!) and called a few close friends and asked them to pray.
I expected to get to the hospital and you be ok. I mean after all, you were tough as an Ox, strong. Healthy. And you're fiesty.
But, when we got there, we were taken to ICU in this little, quiet, dark room. No one should ever be taken to that room. The doctor came in and talked to us and had nothing positive to say. Shortly after we were taken out to see you.
The next 5 days were agonizing. I know I wasn't in your room much and I didn't talk to you a whole lot, I just couldn't. I didn't have the strength. I was hurting and knew you probably were not going to be with us long and I couldn't bear the thought of life without you.
But, on that Thursday night, when it was time, the order was given and you were taken off of life support and we waited. No one tells you what that's going to be like. I couldn't stay in there and watch you gasping for air- it was too much. But, a couple hours later the nurses told us it was time. We all gathered around and talked to you, sang, and told you it was OK to go see Jesus. I didn't want to honestly tell you it was OK because it wasn't with me. But, you took that last breath and in that instant you were with Jesus.
The next moment, while tears were streaming down our faces, Grandpa, who was SO sick and so frail, stood up, put his hand on your chest and said, "Well Ma, you made it. You made the trip!" Suddenly, grief turned to celebration. For you HAD made it! You had won! You were with Jesus and heard Him say "Well Done!"
After all these years I'm still sad you're gone. I still wish you were here.Yet I can't and wouldn't wish you back. A LOT has gone on in our country (you wouldn't like most of it) and in all of our lives.
You would love being a great grandmother. You would have a blast with Chloe and Hannah. I know we'd have so much fun all together. I talk about you to them often. I show them pictures. I love the special bond they have with Mom. Just like I had with you. It makes my heart happy.
So, on this Memorial Day weekend I am remembering you. Remembering how you stood for what you believed in even when no one stood with you. How you were true to yourself. How you prayed with such conviction and power. How you smelled. How you laughed. Your corny (sorry, but they were) jokes, all the times you got in a "tizzy" and made Aaron and I laugh, all of the shopping trips, nights watching you wash your panty hose but most of all yout love....your love for your family and Jesus.
I hope people will smile years from now when I'm gone like I see them do about you. I hope I am remembered well like you are.
I miss you. I think I always will.
Wait for us. By the gate. It won't be long.
I love you.