Saturday, January 2, 2016

Modeling a Life Well-Lived

Who knew cups could still entertain teens and preteens?

This little man has a zeal for creating.  I love to see how his mind works.

Several years ago, my Grandmother was in a car accident.  The details have become fuzzy with time, but what I do remember is that her car swiped a semi.  The collision pushed her vehicle across the median and head-on into incoming traffic.  She barely missed smashing into another semi truck.  When family heard about the harrowing ordeal, we all marveled that she walked away without a scratch.  It was not the day that God had planned for her to go, we gratefully agreed.

Several months ago, my Grandmother suffered from a massive stroke.  Family rushed to the emergency room. The situation seemed dire.  We braced ourselves for the worst and made peace with the fact that Grandmother would soon be in heaven.  But, she pulled through (but with lasting impairments thanks to the stroke). 

Today, she sits in a nursing home.  Her vision was mostly wiped by the stroke.  Her lucidity varies.  Her motor skills and mobility are  hindered.  She spends most of her time in a wheelchair or a bed.  But, when I've visited, she maintains her signature smile and cheery laugh.  Her spirits have (mostly) remained intact.

We know Grandmother wouldn't want to live in this state.  We pray she doesn't suffer.  And sometimes I wonder why God has kept her here.

I visited Grandmother yesterday.  She wore a New Year's Eve hat and seemed pleased at her gathering of visitors.  She engaged in banter (some lucid, some not....she was stumped by the year).

As I was walking out of her room, I thought maybe God has kept Grandmother here for us.  Maybe she's hear to model how to live life well, even when a body fails and a mind succumbs to injury.  She shows us how to find joy in the simple pleasures, friendly visits with relatives and holding hands with an aging spouse.  She's teaching us to persevere when the circumstances tell us to lack hope and fall into despair.  And because of that, I think God has granted us these days.

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