We traveled to Oklahoma this month. We came for a sad reason. Vanessa's grandma was leaving this earth. We didn't make it in time to say "goodbye". But before we left Kenya Hudson prayed, "Jesus, if we don't make it back to tell Grandma Betty goodbye, will you please tell her for us." So I'm sure He did. We have had a sweet time with family and friends. It has been a whirlwind of events and emotions. But we are thankful the Lord allowed us all to travel together as a family. Unfortunately I don't think we have taken 1 picture. Here is what I shared at my grandma's service.
Ever since I can remember my grandma was always traveling. Her first lesson to me was traveling thru books. I remember being there in the summers and she giving me incentives to read. This was when I learned the adventures books can take you on. I think she was always in the middle of a book. When we were young she often took us girls on summer vacations. They were places she and my grandpa had time shares at like Bella Vista. Or places we had family living that we had never met before. She packed the car with books and colors and pencils and a cooler full of fruit and Vienna sausages. Those were some great trips to spend with my sisters as well as with my sweet grandparents. I’m sure it would have been much more relaxing to have just been the 2 of them, but they chose to let us have some adventures during our summer vacations from school. I’m sure this planted some of the seeds in me that wanted to see the world.
Grandma was a great story teller. Most people at the end of their lives tend to tell the same stories over and over, but not grandma. She always had a new story to tell. i remember being amazed as she would tell me of an adventure from grandpa’s army days or some sweet story from her college years. And she always had a story to tell of her travels around the world. I could never recount to you the many countries she visited, but I know that each one she remembered and held a special place in her heart. She was there to experience the culture and she did that to the fullest. I do have to admit there is one story she told over and over again. “It was a hot Oklahoma, July day. I was baking bread for Ed. This was the day your mom was born. She was breach…I had never held a baby before.” That story she relived every July. The day my mom was born. It was funny to hear every year.
She influenced many lives as she taught elementary school. I’m sure she was a fantastic teacher who invested whole heartedly in the teaching of her students. Just this week when we were going thru her things and looking for old photos we found that she had saved ALL of her own report cards. I’m sure she took her students on many valuable adventures as she taught them lessons that would last a lifetime. She truly valued education and doing your very best. The short time my children knew her they loved her. She would smile as she watched them expel more energy then she had ever seen. She would sing silly children’s songs to them and she always desired them to sing to her. I’m sure she thought to herself, “you have a life time ahead of you. What adventures will you take?”
So now grandma has traveled to the most exotic destination she could ever imagine. A place of beauty incomparable to all the wonders this world has to offer. She is meeting the Creator of the Universe. No travel agent could book a journey like this one for her. She most certainly is telling her stories. And catching Grandpa up on everything he missed these past 15 years. I cannot imagine her in a more spectacular place then where she is now. I love you and will look forward to telling you all my stories of the adventures the Lord has led me on.
We'll be back in Kenya at the end of this week. Continue to pray for us as we follow the Lord on this journey!