My four year old son and I were playing downstairs today. “Mommy, will you show me that sewing machine” he asked. He was pointing to an old one. One that I’ve never used.
The one that belonged to my grandma.
She passed away more than four years ago. I looked over at the machine and realized that since my father gave it to me, about two years ago, I have never even taken the case off.
“Sure,” I said to my son.
I knelt by it, unsnapped it, and lifted the case off. There was the machine that my grandma sat by for uncountable hours. My grandfather bought it for her in the 1940’s. She clothed herself and her family with this machine. She made matching dresses for my sister and me with this machine. I have many clothes for my Cabbage Patch Kids made at this machine.
Memories came flooding back.
I sat and stared at it. Nothing is more “grandma” than this sewing machine.
It even smelled like her.
A small piece of her fabric was left under the needle. Bobbins were filled and a spool was in place. Her measuring tape lay under the wheel. Just like she left it.
I stared more. Tears filled my eyes.
Then my son asked, “Mommy, who did this belong to again?”
“Why does she not need it anymore?”
“Because she died, Sweetie.”
“Where is she now?”
“She is in heaven with Jesus.”
“When we go to heaven will we see her?”
“Will we take her sewing machine to her?”
I’ll admit that I did smile at this question. “No, it is not needed in heaven,” I responded.
My son went on playing but I sat there and continued to stare at that sewing machine. I couldn’t help but to feel the sting of the loss. It just hurts so badly!
There aren’t even words to tell you how much I miss her. It is too deep.
I spent much time at her house as a child. There was little as fun as being at grandma’s house. We always baked chocolate chip cookies (my favorite), played Old Maid, went for walks, and listened to stories from her childhood.
When it was time for my parents to pick us up, she and my grandfather would sit outside in their chairs while my sister and I ran around and did cartwheels, flips, handstands, and whatever else we were capable of. They clapped and made such a production about it that we were sure we were both Olympic bound.
And when my parents pulled up in their car and we climbed in the back seat, we would always turn around to look out the back window. And there would be my grandma and grandpa, standing at the edge of their yard, waving good-bye to us. I can still see them.
I sure do miss them!
Death stinks, doesn’t it! If you have ever loved someone who has passed away, you know how difficult it can be. How lonesome you feel and the void that is left.
But for my grandmother, her last couple of years here on earth were not pleasant. She was in and out of the hospital. Life became a struggle for her. Because first one thing was wrong with her health. And then another thing. And then another thing. And then another thing until she took her final breath.
And now she struggles no more. No more pain. No more rides in ambulances. No more tests. No more pills. No more falls. No more sleepless nights. No more cramps. No more swelling. No more injections. No more of any of that.
Because death is the ultimate healing.
When someone passes away, I often hear “So-and-So lost their battle with cancer today” (or whatever the affliction may be). But here’s my problem with that: If they are truly a child of God, they didn’t lose their battle. They were finally healed.
It may be true that my grandma had congestive heart failure. It may be true that she had pneumonia. It may be true that she was diabetic. And it may be true that she had several other health problems. But she didn’t lose her battle with any of it. She was finally healed of all of it.
As a follower of Christ, this is exciting to me.
I don’t yet have the health problems that my grandma did, but I’ve had problems. I’ve had the flu many times. And head colds. And chest congestion. And issues with my sinuses. And migraines. And an intolerance to gluten. And pneumonia. And spider bites. And many other bumps and bruises. The list could go on and on.
But I hold onto the promises of Scripture. And take comfort that one day I will be like my grandma and be healed of all of that. No more any of it.
Because I will join her in the presence of the Lord where sickness and disease does not exist. And I, too, will finally be healed!
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).