The following is the forward of the book that I am writing about my grandma's life which is called This is Her Story. I hope that you will enjoy it and it will cause you to want to read more when the time comes.
Time…where does is come from? Where does it go? As I was standing in the wet spring grass that had been coated with rain, I pondered this question. Time has always been something that we mark. There are millions of ways that we do it. We do it through celebrations, we do it through births, and we do it through deaths. As I stood and thought about this more, I began surveying my surroundings and could see the passing of time on all the faces that surrounded me. I could see the passing of time on my own face, and I could feel it in my heart. I could see it on the tombstones that encircled the group of people that had gathered to say their final goodbyes to a woman who had meant so much to all of us. As I stood there and looked at the steel gray-blue coffin that had been draped with snow-white flowers, I could hear my grandma’s voice. I could hear her say, “Life is a vapor. It is over in a blink of an eye.” I could hear her say, “Christmas is just around the corner.” I could hear her say, “God can make a way where there seems to be no way.” And I could hear her say, “I will never turn my back on you.” It seemed to me in that moment all the important things that I found myself saying were things that she had once said to me.
I wanted to cry out, “I’m not ready yet!” I wanted to break down and weep for all that I had lost. I wanted to beg God to give me one more day, but I had learned through her that “God’s timing is perfect” so I knew that my job was to accept things for what they were. After all, we were not gathered in that cemetery because of a tragic event. Her passing did not shock me; in fact, I had been preparing myself for it for years. I always knew this day would come, and I played it out in my mind a thousand different ways. I imagined how I would feel, I imagined what I would say, and I imagined when it would happen. Of course, like so many things in life, there are always surprises. Most things about my grandma’s life surprised me. That was just how she was. She did not live a typical life, but she certainly did live. She left an indelible mark on this world. She changed countless lives, and she truly made the world a better place. Did she do something amazing, like find a cure for cancer? No. Did she have millions of people fawning at her feet? No. Did she have a career that changed the face of the earth? No. My grandma’s sole contribution to this world was very simple, but it was very great. She changed the world and the lives of untold people through a simple act. She did that through love. Everything she did in life was guided by love. Did she start out knowing that this would be her enduring contribution to the world? Of course not. She struggled to understand life. She endured pain and sorrow. She lost her way a few times. Like the rest of us, she made some bad choices along the way, but in the end it all made sense to her, and she was able to be thankful for every step of her journey.
My grandma spent her entire life telling her story and the stories of everyone she knew. It was her quest in life to make sure that all of the amazing events that she had witnessed in her life would continue to be told long after she was no longer here to tell them. She understood that it was her calling in life. I truly believe that somewhere deep down, she knew that these stories had to be preserved for future generations. She wanted to know that these stories would strengthen the faith of people who were yet to be born. She wanted to know that every joy she experienced and every struggle she endured could one day be used as a catalyst for someone else to see the beauty and miracles that life holds for all of us. Many times she used me as her sounding board, and I let every single word and every single story seep into the deepest parts of my soul. It was as if I somehow knew that I needed to remember the stories as well. We all have stories to tell, and all of our lives have great meaning. The lessons that we learn as we walk this earth can be a testament to the enduring power of faith, hope and love. However, this is not your story, and this is not my story. This is Her Story!
I hope you enjoyed this small section of the book. I feel very thankful to get to share it with all of you. When I think about the future and being able to share my grandma's story with people, I am filled with such peace and PEACE MATTERS!