Gladys

It’s inevitable.  People pass away.  You lose people the older you get.  Time spent here isn’t indefinite.  You don’t think about it until you’re older.  Time is worth more than any currency on the planet.

My family lost a pillar in the storm that is this world.  She was quiet, but strong.  She was afraid of simple things, but she had faith for the big things.  She wouldn’t cross the Elton Hills bridge because of its complexities but she undoubtedly had childlike faith in her Savior.

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Gladys was consistent.  She was consistently stubborn.  She didn’t want the negative talked about around her, especially at the end.  She wanted to fight for every minute she could have.  She wouldn’t have wanted that if she couldn’t feel the love of her family.  We did good, everyone.  We surrounded her with love and we kept her where she wanted to be, until she went some place way better.

Grandma was a prayer.  She never ceased.  She would ask me about my cousin, Jason.  Just to get tidbits of information about how he was doing.  She wondered where he was and if he was on track with work and life.  She oozed love for those that she rarely saw.  She was a pillar of light in the darkness and most of us didn’t get the chance to see how bright she was.  She was a homebody.  It was engraved on her heart, her love of home and everything she knew so well.  But her light shined into her yard and her beautiful flowers.  They were a gift from God to her and she took care of them as reciprocation.  This is a photo she took of her flowers.  She had vision.

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She was a light to anyone that would come to see her.  If there was one thing I would change about her it would be that she would have wanted to go and share her light more.  Everyone she knew loved her.  How could you not?  Many wonder of the mysteries of the universe and how God made so much from nothing.  I wonder how he fit so much spunk and love into such a small little woman!

When her family quarreled she hurt.  When brothers and sisters fought, she wept.  When cousins and aunts and uncles butted heads, she went without sleep.  When we wouldn’t accept our family and spread love instead of grit our teeth, she was in discomfort.  Her favorite times were the holidays when she would have the whole family over for Christmas.  She was a picture taker.  She would revisit those happy memories over and over.  She loved to see her family all together and the smiles on our faces as we grew up.  She knew she didn’t dictate our paths and she knew we would all make our mistakes.  Just as we knew that she was there in that little home on 10th Ave praying for us and loving us unconditionally.  An imperfect human, she loved perfectly.

She would want forgiveness to dominate our lives.  Forgiveness for cousins, forgiveness for brothers, forgiveness for parents, forgiveness for aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews.  She would want us to put our differences aside and love each other.

She would want us to forgive ourselves.  She would want us to move forward together.  She would want us to be Godly and she would want many of us to step up and become pillars of this family and lead our kids toward Christ (she was so happy that we are).  She would want us to help each other and encourage each other.  She would want us to try to help each other be better, but despite our own inevitable resistance because of sin in our lives, she would want us to love each other no matter what.

She wasn’t perfect, but she was consistent.  She was a trash talker, a secret street racer, a wordsmith, a unique photographer and the best grandma, mom, sister, daughter, mother-in-law you could have. 

Let’s make her memory useful.  Let’s wipe our slates clean and come together in her honor.  I am unqualified to call for the healing of our family’s hurts, but Gladys plead for their resolution in prayer daily.  Near or far, I am with you all.  Grandma changed my life for the better.  I won’t forget her, ever.  And my love for my family is stronger than anything else in my life.

 ❤ Justin

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