Steven Curtis Chapman's song on his Speechless CD keeps running through my mind--particularly the chorus:
♫We can cry with hope
we can say goodbye with hope
'cause we know our goodbye is not the end
And we can breathe with hope
'cause we believe with hope
there's a place where we'll see your face again...♫
My grandmother, Dorothy Christine Robertson Cochran, passed away last Thursday, October 13th. She was a bright, energetic, spunky, fun, individual who could never be beat and never stayed sad. She had a difficult life, yet didn't allow that to quench her spirit and make her hard, bitter, and joyless. She chose instead to make nearly everything into a joke of some kind, love comedy, and make others laugh as much as she could.
During the last ten years we have lived far from her residence in FL--first in GA and now in CO. But the distance never lessened our love for her, or her love for us. I am so grateful that God lengthened her life to 81 years so we could know and love her longer.
The most difficult thing about her passing is that none of us are 100% certain she was a Christian. I don't say this out of arrogance but out of a painful desire to be truthful to myself. But like the song says, we can cry with HOPE. We can HOPE that she is in heaven right now, waiting for us to get there. Knowing a peaceful and pain-free existence she really never had here on earth.
I honor, love, respect, and cherish my grandmother's memory, and I always will. I miss her so much and still can't believe she's gone at times, but it's just another reminder that this earth is not our home. She is the first of my close family members to pass away, and I know that if I live my full life expectancy, this is only the beginning of seeing death in those closest to me. I honestly don't know how I will deal with other family members' deaths who are even closer to me than my grandmother was. But I do know that God will never send anything my way that I can't handle with his strength.
I love you, Grandmother.