Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Going Home Celebration

It wasn't until a few years ago I was able to even speak my grandmother's name without tears flowing or a lump suddenly appearing in my throat.   My grandmother's death just seemed too sudden for me to truly grasp or perhaps even accept. A friend suggested something to help in the grieving process... sending balloons to Heaven!

Eight years ago today, the world lost a very special godly lady, 5 children lost their super mom, and 10 grandchildren lost the most amazing grandmother. But our lost was Heaven's gain.

Freida Mae led by example.  She knew no stranger.  And she had this gift of making you feel like you were the most special.

As one of the blessed 10 grandchildren, I was honored to call Freida Mae one of my best friends.  I kid you not, but we talked most through email while I was in college.  I still recall sitting at my desk at work, and one of her emails would pop up.  She just always knew the right words to say.  Grandma Snyder was my "go-to" person on many of life's situations.  So, eight years later, I still find myself sifting through the many emails or letters she had written me, thankful that I have the memories, but most thankful that I did, in fact, have her as a part of my life. 

My children know the name Grandma Snyder is used regularly in our house, though neither of them were born while she was still living.  Her picture still sits on our living room mantel.  They know the funny stories about her.  They know they would have loved her, and they know she would have loved them.  There is no question in my mind they know that.  This makes my heart smile.

The small red dot is our balloon.  The wind was blowing quite hard,
so it did not take it long to float out of sight.

The first year I did this, I wrote a note and tied it to the balloon and released it by myself.  It made me feel like I was doing something to honor her life, and it felt good.  The next year, I let my kids in on the fun.  This year, we wrote her a note on the balloon. 

On the way to the store to buy the balloons this morning, my daughter asks, "Mom, how high is heaven?"  I simply replied, "High."  Later, my engineering-minded son states, "Mom, know what would be cool?  If I could hook up the wireless camera to the balloon.  Too bad it would probably lose signal before it got there.  We could see what Heaven was like and see her...  wonder if anyone else has thought about doing that?" 

Kids, you gotta love their honest hearts.  Right before we left to go pick up the balloons, we heard the news of Andy Griffith's passing.  Those that know my son, will understand what happened next. 

We ended up purchases 2 balloons, one for Grandma Snyder, the other for... Andy Griffith
At the end of this summer day, it was a perfect time for a going home celebration.  After all, it is something to celebrate.  To know that this life isn't all that we live for... but we have a great reward waiting for us in Heaven after we have lived this life for our Lord. 

Grandma Snyder @ the March for Jesus!  I remember
this was the highlight of my summer that year.  We practiced
singing all the songs for the march while we delivered Meals On Wheels.

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