my grandma

Yesterday, I got the news that my grandma went home to be with the Lord. It’s so hard to be halfway around the world right now when I really want to be home with my family.

Here’s what I wrote for my dad to read at her funeral:

Someone once told me that I have my grandmother’s hands. I took that as a compliment because, in my opinion, she the most dainty, beautiful hands I’d ever seen. But even more beautiful than her soft ivory skin and slender fingers, was how she used her hands. With her hands, she made the most delicious potato salad and Italian cookies I’ve ever tasted! Her hands always welcomed us into her home and gave us a special treat whenever we visited. With her hands she sewed many beautiful things: my mom’s wedding dress, clothes for me and my dolls, and my 8th grade graduation dress just to name a few. Her hands also knitted the warmest, most comfortable slippers and blankets for us grandkids every year. She was very proud of our family and with her hands she collected pictures and made photo albums so we could remember the good times we shared for years to come.  Her hands wrote countless letters and cards to encourage others. She was a very hard worker and her hands were always quick to help others. Her hands clapped and cheered for us at countless sports games, recitals and graduation ceremonies. With her hands, she taught Sunday school and led pioneer girls faithfully for many years. My grandmother was one of the most generous people I’ve ever known and I have many memories of her outstretched hands offering a gift to another. She gave, gave, and gave some more. She gave her time, her money, her talents, her abilities, and her heart. I love that someone thought that I have my grandmother’s hands because I hope my hands will produce as much love, compassion and encouragement as hers did. I miss my grandmother very much, but her hands– and her life– left lasting fingerprints on everyone she touched. I rejoice with the thought that her hands are now being held by her Savior, Jesus. And it’s in his loving hands that He’ll hold her until one day we meet again.

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14 thoughts on “my grandma

  1. Oh, Jessica…my heart aches for you when I read this. I know that you must want so badly to be with your family right now as your Grandmother’s wonderful life is being celebrated.

    But…my heart also swells to read this poignant and honoring tribute to her life — so beautifully written…helping all of us have a glimpse into her remarkable life. Her legacy lives strong in her children and grandchildren who “rise up and call her blessed.”

    I will be praying for you, my friend…. Know that without a doubt, your precious, Godly grandmother has celebrated YOU and the legacy that lives on through your purposeful and compassionate ministry to others….

    Cherie (and Jack)

  2. Jess, I so appreciated your words about your grandma. You encapsulized her life well. I know you will miss her. She was always so gracious and had a beautiful smile. I will miss her, too. Our prayers are with you! love, Aunt Patty

  3. Hi Jessica and Davey,
    Yes, Praise the Lord for the life, witness, and testimony of your grandma. She had a big impact on many people. May God minister to you and your family, and draw more people to Him through the legacy of her faith, and the witness of her children.

  4. Heart-felt and truly touching. We’ve had much heartache while in Cambodia. I’m so glad to have you and will always value every single second.

    Love, Davey

  5. Oh Jess,

    I am so sorry to hear about your Grandma’s passing and how you are missing her and your family right now with being so far away. The picture of you together is radiant of both of you. She looks so happy in your wedding picture. I can only imagine how much joy she experienced on that day and through her precious life with her family. What a great legacy she has left. Your hands with Shrey, with so many others and much to come still. I am so blessed to know she is in His hands now for eternity!

  6. Jessica, Grandmothers are a very special gift as you know. Her gifts will be with you forever! She was a wonderful, kind woman. It must be hard being away at this time. Your words make you here even though you can’t be. Much love, Aunt Sandy

  7. what a beautiful reading for her funeral!! sorry you cant be there…but you are definitely showing love, compassion, and encouragement with your hands!!

  8. jess, i love how you described all the things your Grandma did with her hands… it kind of reminds me of you… i think about all the ways you serve, whether it was at church by baking or making coffee or by working as a Nurse, this story just tells me the legacy she passed on to you…

    missing you and Davey, praying for you and asking the Lord for comfort that is so much greater than sorrow that it will come to ease your broken heart!!!

  9. Beautifully, beautifully, beautifully written!!! What an amazing role model your grandmother was to you and all the family. And how proud she was that you are using your hands to help, to heal, to teach and to love the precious people in your path. My deepest condolences to you, Jess!
    Love,
    Avery

  10. Your words about your Grandma were incredible…and I believe that you do carry her love, compassion and encouragement as I have seen you touch many lives just as your Grandmother obviously touched yours=) Wish I could be there with you right now! Love you and miss you dearly Jess!! Come home soon but until then–finish strong has you Grandmother did=)

  11. Hi Jess,

    Grandma was smiling down from heaven when your dad read your wonderful tribute. You blessed us all.

    Miss you and love you so much,

    Aunt Lisa

  12. My heart hurts with you. May you know that you are carrying on your ‘Grandmas Hands’ in this world through the Holy Spirit that runs within you.

  13. That was sooo beautiful and touching. I have lost my grandmother as well, and understand the feelings of sadness but also the gladness that she is with the Lord. May God bless you and your family.

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