Monday, February 20, 2012

Legacy of Love - My Grandma

2, 438.77 miles separated me from being with my family at the bedside of my "Grandma Wenner" today as they honored her in her last days until Jesus takes her home.  She's staying with my parents now and is being cared for in my childhood bedroom.  Distance at times like this just isn't easy.  I wish we lived down the road so I could have been there today: to cherish her, to bless her, to encourage my mom, to praise God with my family this afternoon.

My mom, dad, aunt and 3 cousins, along with their spouses and kids, sat down around Grandma's bedside today to say goodbye.  My cousin, Tim, played hymns and worship songs on his guitar while the whole family sang along and shared their love and admiration for the woman who has left a legacy of faith that will be carried on for generations.  Grandma mouthed the words to "How Great Thou Art" while the family sang around her bed.  Great-grandchildren gave requests to Uncle Tim as they sang out of hearts of gratitude for the woman of God we have had the privilege to call Grandma.

Grandma has a heart after God's very own.  There has never been a conversation with her in which she has not told me, "You know, I am praying for you and for your family every day."  She served as a special education teacher in her career and then in her retired years, served as a short-term missionary alongside my grandpa, with Wycliffe Bible Translators.  Some of my best memories with her are hearing her tell stories of her travels as a missionary.  I caught my admiration and wonder of the continent of Africa from Grandma.  Going to her house was like walking into an international kids' museum - international because she had artifacts and photographs from all of her travels (which were extensive) and "kids" because most of them were within reach to be touched (and sometimes broken).  I remember playing on her green shag carpet with wooden safari animals as a child and beginning to dream about going to that far away place some day - only God knew...

Grandma's love for other cultures, along with her endless passion for seeing people come to know Jesus, have left a legacy of love for generations - my little Penny Love is a part of that legacy.  God used her to soften my heart for the proper time when we would decide to travel to the continent of Africa.  I am so grateful and blessed by her legacy of love... for the world, for her family, for Jesus.

Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren rise up and call her blessed.  (Proverbs 31)  The miles may separate me from experiencing the blessing first hand but I know Grandma is only the blink of an eye away from being where her heart has longed to be since God breathed life into her.  She has always been a woman that fully embraced the words of the spiritual:

"This world is not my home,
I'm just a passing through.
My treasures are laid up
Somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door.
No, I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Just up in Glory Land we'll live eternally
The Saints on every hand are shouting victory.
Their song of sweetest praise drifts back from Heaven's shore
and I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Grandma - I love you.  I wish I could sing this to you but I know it is not necessary because you know these words better than anyone I know.  You have left a legacy of love and faith for generations to come and I am forever grateful.


  1. So sad for your family right now. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. I know you must be thankful to have been here during the holidays to spend some time with her. That family photo is even more precious.

  2. Heidi, your heart is full of inexpressible joy for what God has done in Grandma's life because of her willingness to be open to His leading. May God bless you, your children and your grand-children with the same joy and faithfulness that you experienced through her love for you. Dad