Monday, March 5, 2012

Grandma Z.

My maternal grandmother died two weeks ago. My grandma was complex. One woman was a variety of women, depending on what season of life people met her in. She was at times an angry woman, a sad one, a tired woman, a focused one, a dancing woman or an encouraging woman. God worked in her heart throughout her life. Jesus used her death to teach me a number of lessons. Here is one of them:

God has been speaking to me about my attitude and words. When I called my cousin on Tuesday evening to tell her that Grandma had died she expressed gratitude that Grandma had finally received what she had been praying for. My grandma had been asking God to allow her to die for many years. My cousin also expressed sympathy for Grandma being trapped inside a deteriorating body for so long. After our conversation I felt gently chastised by Jesus for not having an attitude more like my cousin's. The difference was striking. My cousin knows that Grandma struggled with anger and bitterness, but she didn't focus on that.
One morning while travelling for the memorial service the Bible app on my phone had this as my daily verse: Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Proverbs 19:20  So I went out prepared to listen, knowing that I would gain wisdom in the future. (It struck me that I wouldn't be wise today, but in the future) Before leaving the guestroom, though, I also read through Hebrews 12. Verse 10 jumped out at me. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. My goodness, I had not shown honor to my grandmother since her life had become a memory.
The obituary my mom wrote for my grandma was in the paper that day. It was quite honoring. My mom taught me so much in how she presented her mother to the world. She never lied, she maintained her integrity. But she did chose to honor her mama.

I am choosing to speak honoring words of my grandmother now. I am not being dishonest, I am not repainting her portrait. But I am going to focus on the positive. The truth is I had previously been focusing on the negative. I've not ever met somebody that lopsided. She was not entirely angry and mean. I will set my mind and speech on the godly characteristics while learning warning (hopefully) from the fleshly ones.

Here is the obituary. I pray others treat my memory like my mom treated my grandma, not the way I did.

Betty Z.

April, 1928 ~ February, 2012
Betty  was born April, 1928 to Orval and Adelaide at their farm home outside Valentine, Nebraska, the youngest of three children. She lived on the family farm until she started high school. Her parents moved to town in 1943. Her older brother, Dick, loved to say she was "the only girl and spoiled rotten," but a hard-working farm life did not lend itself to spoiling anyone. She attended the Lincoln General School of Nursing in Lincoln, Nebraska, and gained her Registered Nurse diploma. She worked as a nurse in Hastings and Valentine, NE.
Betty married Donald  Z on October 15 at the Methodist Church in Valentine, Nebraska. To that marriage were born 4 children: Donald, Richard, Lawrence and Jean. There were two defining events in her life: removal of a malignant spinal tumor in 1958, which made her a paraplegic and accepting Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior in 1964. From the first event, she was left with constant pain, and she learned to persevere, to do what had to be done. From the second, she learned that she could depend on Someone else to help her get through each day, and that there was hope for tomorrow.
Betty and Don moved to Loveland, Colorado in 1998, just two weeks before his death. She moved to the Loveland Good Samaritan Village in 2001. She never lost her love of Nebraska football, remaining a Big Red fan until her death on February, 2012 at Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colorado.
Betty loved to fish, crochet, read, watch football and bake. She was well-known for her baking, especially her cinnamon rolls. She was interested in learning new things throughout her life, including learning how to use a computer, and a Kindle for reading. In her years at Good Samaritan, she became an encouragement to many others.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Dick in WWII; both parents, brother, William; and husband, Don. She is survived by Don and Bonnie Z, Richard and Lori Z, Larry and Sherri Z, and Jean and Jerry H; 11 grandchildren; and 9 great-grandchildren, with 2 more on the way.
Betty could say with the Apostle Paul that "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

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