Wednesday, November 9, 2011

RIP Grandma

Typically, I try not to write about personal events on this blog but I want to make an exception for this post. Today, I lost my last grandparent, Grandma Elder, my maternal grandmother. It wasn't a huge surprise since she had been in the hospital for about a month fighting an infection. Still, I think we are all experiencing grief...especially those who were holding out hope that she might recover. I will miss her greatly....and not just because of the excellent home cooked meals that I would receive when visiting her or staying the night. She was a very generous person who lived a very difficult life. Nevertheless, she was always willing to help out her kids and grandkids. This included me. Before I deployed to Afghanistan I was in a bad financial position because I had left my job in Chattanooga at the time to come home to get ready for mobilization. But, as is the Army way, they kept delaying my mobilization which squeezed my finances. It was my grandmother who loaned me some money that enabled me to get through until I did finally leave the country. I will never forget that.

Another thing I will always remember about Grandma Elder is her sharp mind. Everyday that I was there she would be working on crossword puzzles and usually finished them completely. And though her memory often failed her towards the end of her life she still knew if the slightest thing in her kitchen was out of place! I have no doubt that had she been born in a later time period where women had more opportunities to advance that she would have gone on to great things. Wait...that's not fair. Raising six kids and many, many grandkids is a testament to the fact that she did do great things in her life.

Over the last several years my religious worldview has gone through some drastic changes...."refinement" is the way I like to phrase it, though that's probably a bit disingenuous. But I'm still a theist who believes in a just universe and therefore a just creator. And if I believe such then it seems to follow (though not necessarily) that there will be an "afterlife" of some kind...though I intensely dislike that word. I care not really to fruitlessly speculate on what it might be like but I do hope that it would be something akin to the classic Judeo-Christian (and Islamic) belief in the resurrection of the dead (Yes, I know those choice of words conjure images of zombies stumbling out of their graves to walk the earth. Still...) and redemption of the created order....much more appealing than the now popular (among modern day evangelical Christians at least) conception of an eternity floating about "heaven" as disembodied souls.

Nonetheless, if my vestigial Christian belief turns out to be well founded then I truly look forward to the day when I see my grandmother again at the Day of the Resurrection. I will severely miss you, Grandma. Rest in peace...for now.

"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed." (I Cor 15:52 KJV)

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