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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)

TITLE: Until I See You Again
By Bob Truesdale


“Can you give me a few more minutes?” I asked, tears streaming down my swollen cheeks. The funeral director acquiesced while he quietly stepped away. I just stood there staring at my lifelong friend, grandma Lapierre. For the first time in a very long time, she looked at peace. The crooked arthritis-swollen fingers lay perfectly still across her stomach. Never again would they bake me a sweet apple pie or shuffle the cards so we could play one more hand of gin rummy. These precious hands had whipped hundreds of pounds of mashed potatoes, baked countless pies, and sewed more outfits than anyone cares to remember. Men aren’t supposed to be close to their grandma’s at thirty years old. I never cared. She was my friend. She taught me the lesson of selflessness. She taught me about giving. But most of all she loved me to death and always rose from her sitting chair and hurried to the front door when she saw me in her driveway.
“Blessed sunshine!” she would always say. “I am so happy to see you.” Grandma spent lots of time alone in her later years. My folks were snowbirds and always headed south for the winter. Being a Flight Attendant enabled me to visit but as life got busy and I moved to Pittsburgh, the visits came less and less frequently. But they were always joyous times. Watching Sunday afternoon golf (she always dozed off), playing cards, or just talking about life and how much she loved Jesus. One afternoon a few years before, my grandmother got right on her knees in front of the t.v. and gave her life to Christ. To this day I am so grateful for Billy Graham and his television crusades. She was so thankful for the price paid for her sins. It was a pleasure to see her praising God in her last few years of life.
As I stood before her casket, I thought back to all the times I ran away from home and headed for grandmas. My mom would always call an hour later and I’d beg my grandmother not to tell her I was there. I know they must have had coded answers for such times as these. Sometimes I’d help her weed the garden. Other times I’d climb the huge maple trees that lined her back yard. It never mattered how we spent the time. She just loved the company and I loved hanging with grandma. She was a friend indeed. Always listening. Always caring. I remember getting letters in college with two dollars taped inside the envelope. She’d apologize there wasn’t more but tell me to enjoy a milkshake. As I headed off to the airlines and moved to Pittsburgh, the letters still followed, two dollars intact. Her later years were filled with arthritic pain and many lonely hours, but she never complained. She would just keep on looking for ways to bless others, never wanting to burden anyone.
I was standing in my bedroom in Pittsburgh when the call came seventeen years ago. In many ways, it feels like yesterday. Our beloved grandma was gone. Life and years of hardship had taken their toll and Jesus wanted her home. I wept uncontrollably. Every now and then I ride by her old house and sit in my car and stare. For many years it was my second home. The aging maples still grace her back yard, beckoning me back to carefree days. The garden has long since grown over. As I sit there reminiscing, I close my eyes and picture grandma sitting in her living room, dozing off to the sounds of Sunday afternoon golf and wishing for some company. Her eyes light up as I tap on the window and she declares, “Blessed Sunshine!”

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Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw04/10/08
“Blessed sunshine!” she would always say. “I am so happy to see you.” Precious woman. And she would be so happy to read this. A double space between paragraphs would make this loving tribute easier to read.
Joy Faire Stewart04/14/08
What a beautiful tribute! The emotion and love shown is wonderful.