happy birthday

Today is my grandma's birthday. She passed away three and a half years ago, and every year since then I (along with several other women in my family) have baked a cake. You see, she was the best cake baker I've ever known, so cake is only appropriate.

{Yellow cake with pink fluffy frosting--my birthday cake of choice throughout my childhood. The cakes Grandma made were at least twice as tall as this one.}

Grandma is the most gracious woman I've ever known. My whole life she exuded graciousness in every relationship. She was kind, compassionate, unwavering in her faith, confident in her identity, and ever loyal to her God. I won't do her a disservice and pretend that she was perfect, because she wasn't. She did, however, consistently strive to be better and more like her Savior. While she did make mistakes, she kept her eye on the prize--becoming like Jesus Christ. And when your goal is to be as He is, you inevitably enter into gracious living.

I think of her often--oh so very often. And I miss her. Sometimes I think about how most of my mortal life will be lived without her on this earth. And that's hard. She died six months before I got married, and sometimes I wish I could just call her up and ask her marriage questions and baby questions and life questions, because just as I got ready to begin the next big chapter in my life, she closed hers.

{This used to hang in my grandparents' bedroom. Now it hangs in my sewing room next to a replica of a refrigerator magnet I made for Grandma when I was six-ish. Despite her lack of excessive sentimentality she kept it for years and years, and we found it in her desk after she died.}

But in spite of this occasional melancholy, I have felt her near. I know she knows my son, and right now, he remembers her. She knows me still and is aware of my life. The veil between this world and the next is so thin. Those we love are closer than we realize, and God is ever present to manifest his love and graciousness.

The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
{Psalms 145:8}

So happy birthday, Grandma. Thank you for your legacy of gracious living. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

This post is part of a 31-day series on gracious living. You can find the others posts here.

1 comment:

Katelyn said...

I think your thirty one days of writing is such a tribute to her:) I'm loving all your essays!

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