Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gram Nell (1913-2015)

Yesterday I attended the visitation and funeral of my Grandmother.  She passed away on Saturday.  She was 101 years old.

My Gram Nell was an amazing woman.  She had an 8th grade education, and married my Grandpa in January of 1935 at the age of 21.  She had three children.  My Grandpa passed away in 1958 at the age of 47.  My dad was still in high school.  She never remarried.  She worked in the deli of a local supermarket until she retired.

My Gram Nell was never a touchy-feely kind of grandma.  She was very plain spoken.  She loved her children and her 10 grandchildren and her 19 great- grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren.  I could tell stories about my Gram Nell for hours.

I spent a lot of time with my Gram Nell when I was a kid, and into adulthood.  I have spent a lot of time with her these last few weeks at the nursing home.  She hasn't know me for nearly two years.  But that's O.K.  I still knew her.

This past Thursday evening and Friday evening I went to the nursing home after work and spent an hour or so with her each night.  She never acknowledged that I was there.  She was very restless.  And by Friday evening when I was there, her breathing was very shallow, very rapid.  I knew her time was short.  She passed away just after midnight Friday evening.

My heart is broken.  You are never ready to let go of someone that you love the way I loved Gram Nell.  I loved her so very much and I know she loved me.  

My Gram Nell is in heaven.  Not because she was a good person.  Not because she attended church faithfully.  My Gram Nell is in heaven because she confessed her sins to Jesus and asked Him to be the Lord of her life many, many years ago.  Back a couple of years ago, before her mind left her, she talked frequently about the "better home on the other side" she had waiting for her, and praying and asking Jesus to "take her home."  I told her many times that I guessed God just wasn't ready for her yet, and He wasn't ready for her then.

He was ready for her early Saturday morning, and He took her home.

She lived a wonderful, wonderful life.  The funeral home was full on a bitterly cold Monday morning for a 101 year old woman who had outlived both of her parents, her husband, and all 10 of her siblings.  A testament to a life well lived.  A testament to all those she loved, and who loved her.

I will miss her.  I will never forget her.  And one day, when Jesus is ready for me, I know that I know that I know, that I will see her again.  What a day that will be.

I took this picture of my hand and her hand just a couple of weeks ago.  Today, that hand is raised high before the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords in heaven.  She has heard the angels sing Holy Holy Holy.  

I am so thankful that my Gram Nell knew Jesus.  I am thankful that today there is no more suffering for her.  I am thankful that she is with Jesus.  I am thankful that she is waiting there for me. 


  1. Well, you know I am bawling like a baby about the loss of your Grandma Nell. How lucky you were to have someone that loved you that much.....that you loved back. I is wonderful that you honored her long after she was able to acknowledge you. God sees all those things. I am glad she is in Heaven and I know that she will welcome you with open arms someday. God bless you- xo Diana

  2. Love that precious picture. I, too, am glad that she has been made whole and is in the presence of our Heavenly Father!

  3. Oh I am so sorry what a wonderful role model she was and such a strong woman. LOVE the hands photo. This is a beautiful tribute. HUG B

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful lady.

  5. How lucky you were to have a grandma for so long. A century plus aged grandma to boot. She is now making up for those last few silent years and talking away up high. Blessings to you.

  6. My sweet grandmother's favorite hymn..she played the piano in her church...Victory in Jesus...

  7. Just checking in....Hope you are doing ok.

  8. Oh Robbin,
    I'm so sorry to hear your very sad news. I can feel the pain you are feeling in your words and yet your rejoicing of thinking of her in Heaven! Thinking of you and praying you can find comfort and your heart will find healing.

  9. So sorry to hear of the loss of your grandmother, but I know this is a bittersweet loss, as you describe. I had a Grandma Nell, too--she died a few years back at the age of 99 3/4--just three months before her 100th birthday. An accomplishment I hope to make as well!