I received news on Monday morning that my grandmother had gone on to be with the Lord after 94 years. It wasn't a shock, we had been expecting this news any day but I still found myself very emotional. She was a mother to me and my brother and sister. My dad had called me a couple weeks ago just to inform me that she may not be with us much longer and if I wanted to see her one last time, I should probably make that happen. So I did. I drove down and spent about 30 minutes with her, hugged her and told her I loved her for the last time. It's a heck of a thing to tell someone that has meant the world to you that you love them for, what you know is, the last time.
My dad was a single father, raising 3 kids, and working a job that required him to be out of town 3-4 nights a week. And at an age where every other grand parent was spoiling their grandkids and relaxing with other 70-somethings, she spent those years watching after us bratty kids. She was every bit as influential and important to me as my mom and dad were. She led us to the Lord and she taught us how to live for Him. My mom and dad did a great job, I think, but there's no way I'd be who I am today without my Grandma.
Dad asked if I would say something at her service. Assuming I'm just one of the many speaking, I agreed. The night before I find, much to my surprise, that other than the pastor, I'm the only one speaking. Now, she's lived 94 years. 5 kids, 13 grandkids, 21 great grandkids, 7 US wars, 17 presidents, the Great Depression... She's seen all of her brothers and sisters go, friends and other loved ones as well... She's lived in the same town all her life... She knew every single person in Colquitt, GA (at least I'm convinced she did.) Now, that's not even beginning to scratch the surface of the lives she touched, or the character she displayed. Minnie Laura Chapman was amazing. So let me ask you, would you like to take on the responsibility to speak at her funeral service? I didn't think so. Needless to say, I was a nervous wreck. There's no need to go into all that I said. After all, if you're reading this, you probably didn't know her. But other than crying like a baby in front of a packed house at First Baptist, Colquitt, GA, I think I made her proud.
I'm thankful to God that he allowed me to have her in my life for 30 years. I'm sure He couldn't wait to have her home.