Hope and Blessings in the Midst of Sorrow

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So I took the above picture yesterday. For those not in the know this is the place my husband and I honeymooned almost a year ago. We honeymooned at the Villas in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately we weren’t returning to have another honeymoon adventure, but it felt like a small gift in the midst of a hard weekend.

Last Sunday, July 31, my husbands grandmother passed away. Grammy was a special lady, in her last year of life she was mostly sick, in pain, and not completely lucid, but she was still smiling, still making her jokes, and kept up her taste for sweets until the very end. Growing up my husband actually didn’t see these grandparents a whole lot because most of his life they were living the ministry life on the road, going wherever the Lord called them. Later in life they got less active and settled down to care for my husband’s mom (who also has chronic health issues). In some ways as I’ve gotten to know them in the last 5 years and so has my husband.

Hearing stories from family members about her heart for the church, for people, for  family, and sweets was so touching. Divorce has damaged much of husbands family (and many of my extended family as well), but Grammy and Grandpa were a rock, 55 happy years devoted to Jesus and each other. It gives me such hope for our own marriage, what a legacy to have in your family. Grandpa truly loved her in sickness and in health, they were there for each other, and now he’s slowly figuring out what life is without her and looking forward to when he will be with his bride again in glory.

After a hopeful funeral and saying our goodbyes and having the chance to simply be with family, husband and I finally got back in the car and headed home. Exactly next week we will have been married for a whole year, I can barely believe it. I’m sad that Grammy had to go, but it felt like a gift that a year after our wedding we would back in the same town (his grandpa officiated our wedding), with family and end up driving through the town we honeymooned in.

It felt like an unexpected gift in the midst of the sorrow. It made me so glad that from the start of our marriage we made family a priority. It wasn’t the easiest planning a wedding from 350+ miles away, but with sick and elderly family members (20 somethings travel much easier than 50, 60, 70 somethings do), and knowing what mattered to us, it was easy to do things that would ensure as many family members as possible could be there. So Amish country, PA it was.

In the end it was a beautiful weekend that commemorated her life well, family gathered, sang, prayed, ate, and remembered. We’re still going on praying, gathering, eating and remembering–until it’s our time to go too. I love you Grammy, I’ll see you by and by.

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