January 14, 2013

Praise and Sadness

This time last week Kevin and I were anxiously awaiting our trip this week to celebrate our 10th anniversary.  I was mentally making a check list of all I needed to pack, checking again to be sure we both had our passports, sunscreen, and trying to decide which suitcases to take.  I was planning getting the kids to my mom's and then my mom getting the kids back to Kevin's mom here in town.  It was a flurry of excitement!

By the end of the week, the focus had completely shifted.  I got a call early (well, OK, it was after 8, so it wasn't that early) Fri. morning that my grandmother had passed away.  All plans were changing.  The excitement and laughter was succumbing to tears and trying to recall every memory possible of this sweet woman.  I am amazed at all the praise that has flowed from my lips in the last 4 days, as a result of this sad time.  God is good!

--Grandma passed away on grandpa's birthday (he's been gone about 13 years).  What a great day to go meet her Heavenly Father, huh?  God is so good.
--I spent the day listening to the song 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.  How can you not praise God when you hear that song? And, as my Aunt Sandra said so beautifully, the day came when Grandma Olyta's strength was failing, but her faith never did!
--We quickly had to start talking with the travel agent to postpone the trip.  This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as Kevin has had several things come up with work that really needed to be taken care of and if we had left this week for the trip, it wouldn't have been finished!  Today I got a call from the agent and it cost us half the amount to change than we had originally thought!  Hallelujah!  (Of course, just the fact that we even had the insurance to be able to change the trip was the hand of God!)
-And, of course, there are all the fond memories of Grandma Olyta:
-------Playing in the potato bin in the basement with the plethora of cousins.
-------Making "medicine"from the mortar between the bricks in the basement walls. (It's amazing the walls are even still standing!)
-------Playing in the foam closet. (That sounds worse than it is....Grandma reupholstered furniture, so she had a whole closet full of foam pieces.  It was like our own little playground...even though we weren't supposed to be playing in there!)
-------The two big chalkboards Grandma had, one in her upholstery room and one on the back porch.  No matter what we wrote on there, she never erased it.
-------Sitting at her counter and eating brown sugar by the spoonful.
-------We actually lived with them for several months when we moved back to IL.  She was always ready and willing to cook a meal, a snack, do laundry, whatever we needed to feel welcome and at home.
-------For the longest time she made us each a pair of pajamas for Christmas every year.
-------We got quilts for graduation and the birth of most (if not all) of our children until she just couldn't do it any longer. 
I am sure there are many more fun things to remember that just aren't coming to mind right now.  Though it's going to be a sad time with lots of tears (yep, we all inherited that Quarton gene from Grandma!), I am looking forward to seeing the 40+ cousins, great grandchildren, aunts, uncles, etc. as we  gather to celebrate her life and home-going.

Lord, help me to always see that You are in control and You work all things for the good of those who love You and are called according to Your purpose.  Lord, help me to see that there's always reason for praise, even in the midst of pain! 

I'll leave you with a link to Dessert Song, a great song for this season in our family!


  1. Heather, I'm sorry to hear about your loss. As I read your post and listened to your fond memories I found myself tearing up. You were so blessed with such a wonderful relationship with your grandmother. I'll be praying for you and your family as you grieve your loss and for safe travels, and as you plan for your anniversary trip!