Over 100 people came to my middle OS’s college send-off party.
It was a beautiful celebration and I just revelled in God’s goodness as I looked at the crowd.
I recall my high school graduation party and it was nothing like this one.
Mine had a keg of beer, Michael Jackson music and I remember my tube top falling down unexpectedly. Someone had yanked on it and whoops, there it fell right by the kitchen door leading out to the backyard.
I nearly died of embarrassment but shrugged it off because bursting into tears is just plain gauche for a burgeoning French major.
Aaron’s bash was nothing of the sort…No booze, (none necessary) folk music, Christian fellowship and everyone remained fully clothed to my knowledge. 😉
Among the treasured guests were our current church family, close personal friends, extended family, pastors, friends from our old churches, some of Aaron’s former teachers and classmates that were in choir and drama together.
Our pastor spoke a beautiful prayer just before dinner which was a gift in itself.
We ate Chicago style hot dogs from Sonic, Chicago style pizza from Rosati’s and filled in with healthy food like cranberry quinoa salad, lentils and jasmine rice, marinated mozzarella, watermelon juleps and other lovely treats.
All the hard work paid off seeing the faces of people who obviously loved my olive shoot and felt cared for by him as well. Afterward, I told Aaron it was like a wedding but no wife and no sex. He wasn’t sure how to respond but appreciated the sentiment and just chalked it up to another one of Mom’s awkward sayings of which he has quite a collection.
But in the back of my mind throughout the preparations and during the actual party, when I allowed myself to think,
I remembered that a year ago on this same day marked my grandma’s last full day on earth.
That is a very hard thing to process when one is getting ready for a party, I assure you. Myriad emotions wafted in and out.
I loved her so much, she was so dear to me.
She profoundly loved my babies.
How had I even survived this year without her?
It was a Chicago theme celebration since our ministry-minded OS is going to Moody Bible Institute in the heart of the Windy City. As many of you who have been reading my blog have noticed, I built a Sears Tower (I refuse to call it Willis Tower) in my family room.
Each guest got a picture with Aaron in front of our own homemade indoor skyscraper and I chuckled to see small lines of families getting ready for their turn in front of the impressive structure.
And in my own way, unbeknownst to most people, I secretly invited my grandma to the party.
She had to be a part of the night and oh how Grandma loved to party. The poor woman couldn’t cook worth a darn but she was an enthusiastic and memorable party guest. Young and old alike loved it when Grace was coming over. She had a way of getting a party started as many will attest.
And that’s what I did.
I took her to the party.
It was hard to do but I wore her Chicago Cubs shirt to my OS’s celebration.
It didn’t matter that it wasn’t especially flattering or that it slightly clashed with my skirt, I wanted my grandma there with me.
I also wore her high school necklace which rarely leaves me. And I ate some hot dogs. Grandma ate like a bird but loved hot dogs.
Grandma joined the celebration last night. She would have had a blast even if she had some Alzheimer’s, rarely wore her hearing aids and needed a cane. Heaven is the only thing that stopped her from making an appearance and if my grandma is with Jesus, I completely understand her not wanting to leave the ultimate celebration.
As the night drew to a close and August 5th soon approached, more tears fell from my tired eyes.
The one year anniversary of my grandma’s passing had now arrived.
I saw my family’s facebook statuses change and their profile pictures show photos of them with Grandma.
I was not alone in missing her.
And those tears mingled with the tears of joy I experienced toward my treasured OS. I can scarcely take it all in today but all is well.
I miss her.
I love her.
I will miss my boy.
I love him.
I praise the Lord for all the tears, all the people, all the kindness, all the sadness, all the memories, all the love, truly I am blessed on this most notable day.