Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Grandma, Florence Elaine Roundy Chapman


Last Wednesday, my dear grandma passed away. Today was her funeral in Missouri. I was so sad I wasn't able to go. A little over a month ago, she was admitted to the hospital for complications with diabetes and heart failure. It was clear at that time that she wouldn't be with us much longer. Although her health had been declining for a long time, this news still came as a shock to me and I had a hard time. I called and was able to talk to my grandpa for a little while, which was great. But Grandma wasn't in a situation to talk. My mom was able to go out there and help them get her released from the hospital and set up with hospice care at home. I'm glad she got that chance to say goodbye. Grandma didn't want to see a lot of visitors or spend her time chatting with people. She was tired and "ready to go home" and get a relief from the pain.

My grandma was an amazing woman. If I were to make all my decisions based on what grandma would do, I would lead a pretty stellar life. I should probably do that. I wrote her this goodbye letter a few weeks before she died. It was hard for me to articulate what I felt.

Dear Grandma,

I just wanted to write a quick note and tell you how much I love you and what a wonderful example you have been to me. Growing up, I had grandparents that I knew and loved and that I knew loved me. I didn't realize how special this was until I was grown up and didn't know very many people who had that. I have always been very proud of my heritage. I come from good, hard-working people who make great sacrifices for truth, goodness, and family. I can't think of anyone who embodies these traits more than you. You have always been a rock of strength and goodness to me. I'm not a very outgoing person, and you have been the example of quiet strength that I aspire to. At first I felt anxious about the hole you would leave in our family, and if we would be as strong without you, but then I realized that there is a piece of you in every single one of us, and that gives us your strength. I feel more confident as a mother and wife when I remember I am your granddaughter. I feel more confident that my children can weather the storms of life when I remember they have your genes. Thank you for instilling in me the desire to do good and be strong no matter what.

I love you very much, and will live my life so that I can be with you again.

Love,
Bethany

I want to keep a copy of it here so that I remember it.

Someone mentioned to me today that she and our little girl coming soon may be having conversations right now before little one comes to us, and that this little girl may just have a special guardian angel looking out for her. I like that idea. We plan on giving this little girl my grandma's middle name--Elaine. I hope baby girl will feel something of a connection with her, even though they never got a chance to meet in this life.

I love you Grandma. I'm grateful for the life you led, and the example you have been to me. Until we meet again, all my love,
Bethany

2 comments:

S.N.D said...

I haven't met Grandma Chapman but I know that from you all that she is one of a kind. The letter is so real,so sincere I felt the love.


Thanks for this post.

debrajo said...

What a beautiful letter to your grandma. It's perfect. I love what you said about how she's left a piece of her with all of you.

I lost my Grandma this year, too. I imagine when I see her again she'll be already glorified & young & gorgeous and all of the goodness from her life will shine through in some sort of Celestial way I can't imagine now. But even then, I think I will still miss her wrinkles. : )

We'll pray for you & your family at this time.