Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Grandma's Goodbye

70th Anniversary Party - Feb. 2011
On November 29th, 2012, my mom called to say Grandma Lenger wanted to talk to me.  She got on the phone and said something like "Shelly, goodbye, I love you, I'll see you again in Heaven" I cried and selfishly asked her to wait a week, since I would be flying to Michigan then, and she replied "I can't, I'm going to Heaven." After saying I love you, we hung up and I sobbed, not so much because she was going to die, but, because I would miss her.  That evening the boys wanted to tell her goodbye as well, so we called again, she woke up when mom told her the boys were calling, they both said I love you and will miss you and Jian told her "have a good trip to Heaven," and she smiled.

Growing up, every Saturday that they were home (they owned a travel agency and often were traveling all around the world) she would take any grandkids that wanted to go, out for breakfast.  After breakfast, in the car, she would sing whatever songs we wanted (and always would obligingly sing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" with me, while the cousins and my sisters groaned).  She loved well.  She remembered everyone's birthday & made them feel special.  She left an amazing legacy of caring for others.  For many years they traveled to India taking pictures and videos, and then brought those around America to help others see the need for teaching people in India about their Creator.  Grandma cared for "the least of these" in a quiet, determined way.  She loved our boys.  The best part of that, is they knew that she loved them.  Jian, who struggles with understanding family and knowing what love means, told me the day before she died "Great-grandma Lenger cherishes me." How true that is.  In the last few years, she lost her sight and still would write letters to tell the boys that she loved them.
Christmas 2011
The day after she called me, I flew to Michigan.  I arrived in the evening and I believe she knew I was there, even though she didn't wake up.  Six hours later, at 12:37am on December 1st, I had the true privilege of lying next to her and holding her hand, (along with my mom, and Grandpa - her husband of 71 years) as she took her last breath and went to be with her Lord and Savior.  My Grandpa showed unconditional love in caring for her the last few years as her health was declining, a beautiful example of Christ's love for us.  We will miss her terribly, but, are so very thankful that we will see her again someday!

1 comment:

Walsh Family said...

Wow!!! I Love how she lived. What an example to many.