The life of my grandparents is a huge rock/support in my belief of the Gospel. They oozed Christ's truth in their words, actions, and commitment. Even in their failings I saw only their heart desire to love God and love others....even if this was far from perfect. God's grace was bigger than their own humanness, and his spirit worked greatly through them.
My grandfather died this last fall, but my grandmother is still with us....sort of. She has dementia. I used to say that the two remaining bits of her former self were her sense of humor and her faith in God. Now it is just her faith in God.
Recently, she told my mom that she wanted to go to her, "Home, God's home." Once she informed us that she didn't have anything left to do here (I'd agree.) and she just wanted to leave. Then she lifted her hands upward to show us how she thought she wanted to make her exit. She still cries, in that deep spiritual place, when familar hymns are played or sung, and she will surprise us all with completely coherant prayers. It is the one thing she still has. Jesus.
I want it for her, heaven. I want her to be able to move on, no longer just be waiting for it to happen....complete redemption, a making new. I ache for her to receive a new body and mind. The one person she always knew, my grandpa, is no longer here. "I just never thought he'd leave me." She misses him. Shouldn't she? They were married for 70 years.
I miss my grandma. I think I miss her more seeing the person she really isn't. I think my good memories are a bit blocked when I go and see the dementia that has taken over her. Maybe when she is reunited with those who've gone to heaven first, my older memories will regain their strength. I hope so. But still, even this dementia is her...is part of her, her life experience, and I'm learning much from it. She would have wanted that....to still be used by God. And she is. Her retained faith reassure my own belief.