Away in a manger… soft and lilting the lyrics float in my head as the hazy image of my grandmother singing flickers in the back of my head. What I would do to sit with her for a moment and hear her voice again. To listen to her sing… to wake before the sunrises and sit in the kitchen drinking tea and watching the eastern sky blush with the dawn.
So many memories she should have born witness to, so many birthdays and Christmas’s she should be here for. So many feasts she should have helped prepare. So many hugs I long to feel. So many pictures she should be in. So very many things I would like to tell her.
And yet her legacy lives on in our lives. Not a day is not touched with her fingerprints, for they are on all of our hearts. Today as the calendar marks the anniversary of her death, and we find the pain anew- and wonder if it will ever stop hurting we remember her legacy. We remember a woman with such an amazingly large heart that she could make strangers family. A tiny lady, who could walk among the homeless and the broken and look past all of the rough edges and love them.
We remember the woman who kept a little can of ‘love’ on the counter to sprinkle all of the dishes she made with it. We remember a woman who changed the lives all she met. We remember the stories she told… and the love she filled our home with.
I am so thankful for her influence in my life, for the ability to grow up in her shadow. We Rosevine Girls share the amazing treasure of spending nearly every day of our lives with her. Her passing has left a huge unfillable gap in our lives.
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She was a woman of faith, and that made her a unique woman. Much of what I know of faith came from this woman and watching her walk with Christ. Her life was not sunshine and rainbows, she was raised by a sister after her mother died and father abandoned her. She found herself burying her husband and daughter much sooner then any wife or mother ever wants to do- and yet she remained faithful. Yes, I am sure there were dark places, places where she questioned His plan, where the grief threatened to crush her.
She was a strong woman- not in an abrasive sort of way, but in a gentle beautiful way. In a way that bespoke where her strength came from. She was a woman who could believe in you when everyone else gave up. Today as I logged on to Facebook a memory popped up, “Heaven has gained an amazing woman,”… yes, heaven truly did gain an amazing woman that day, and the world is a bit darker without her corny jokes and beautiful voice. But it is by far a more beautiful place because of her.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7
May we all be more like Grandma Cottage… at the end of our days, may someone be able to say that about us that we “finished the race” and “kept the faith”. May that be all of our legacies. I’ll go a bit further, may we all leave behind us as big an impact -a ground-zero if you will-. No, she never ran for office, or became wealthy, or traveled to far off places- but she was rich with love. May the epicenter of our legacy, be as widespread, and the people we loved be as many.