This January was filled with work, family, friends needing support, colleagues reaching out to share, and a significant, out-of-pattern ice storm in central Texas. On most days I felt overwhelmed, tired, and unmotivated. Some concerns shared with me by friends and colleagues weighed heavy on my heart. I had to relearn how to practice self-preservation. I am grieving the loss of one of the most important people in my life as well—GG, my husband’s grandmother, with whom I grew closer during each of our 21 years together. The second anniversary of her death was also in January, and while time has passed, that, too, still weighs heavy on my heart.
GG was a woman who was placed in an orphanage until her father returned for her. She was in an abusive relationship for over 20 years. During that era, you didn’t divorce or walk away from a marriage; you stayed. She lost a son to suicide, and suffered through a bout of cancer.
GG finally divorced and found love with Frank, who cherished her being, her thoughts, and her opinions. They were married for 30 years, until his death. She never remarried, but leaned into the friendships they had built over the years.
I’ve been missing GG and our weekly conversations. She had a grace about her that made others feel at ease. Every year of our marriage, at the hint of spring, my husband and I would start planning our three-week summer vacation to visit her in Florida. Our mornings were filled with coffee, breakfast, silence, and some light reading on the lanai. Our days were filled with laughter, pool time, and the tiki bar for lunch. We made the occasional grocery store visit, had cocktails at 5pm, then dinner and board games—usually a lively game of chicken foot (Dominoes). We ended the night with a nightcap and a movie, and on most nights we’d share stories. She reminded us that we were the reason she looked forward to her tomorrows, to the spring, and later in her life to summer and Christmas. GG helped me stop and enjoy the small and quiet moments, before I looked back and realized that the moments had passed.
The time I spent with her filled me with happiness.
I miss her presence, her kindness, and the warmth of her heart. In her presence I was able to slow down and truly experience rest, to take the time to enjoy the ordinary that is life. I will forever hold my season with GG dear to my heart.
We each experience different relationships and friendships throughout the seasons of life. Some last for a few days, others for months and years. We all need friendships and supportive relationships. We need people with whom we can share our dreams, talk to or sit in silence; people to share laughter, fears, and sorrows. We need those who will remind us of our worth, our unique design, and the fact that God has a plan for us. And we need someone who will guide us to the light when our world seems dark.
GG reminded me that God’s peace is available to us at any time. So often in life it feels like a pressing need just can’t be met in time. GG always knew the “Helper, Counselor, Advocate, and Comforter” is with us every day. His grace will be there when we need it most.
Sometimes we wonder if it will ever be our time to feel peace, to be happy, to laugh, to smile, to stop worrying, to stop stressing, to find that job, to get healthy, or to find love. Will it ever be our time? Will our season finally arrive? Will our prayers ever be answered? During these times of wonder I remind myself to make sure I’m living now; to appreciate the beauty of the ordinary, and to appreciate the people who are living this life with me at this moment.
In God’s perfect, omniscient, seeing-across-all-time brilliance, He will open the door at the very hour the others are closing. To us, it’s the nick of time. To the Lord, He’s peacefully in control and knows that it’s the perfect time. We need to remember that we can control some things, but also to surrender and trust His good, perfect plans for our lives.
It’s not always that something happened just in time, but that we finally made the decision to act. May our actions always be consistent with our prayers.
GG was my encourager, with her simple gestures and acts of kindness. She was that person for me, and I hope I can be that person for others that God has brought into my life.
Tina Huey is a mom of two fantastic kids and wife of her hero, who also happens to be an incredible dad and husband. She is an avid reader, and a life long learner. She enjoys exercising. She loves to laugh—to find the ridiculous in adversity. She is passionate about life and living it to the fullest, being the best version of herself, and helping others in a positive way so we can all make this world a better place.
Appreciating the beauty and people around us…GG was an example and you are following in her footsteps. Blessings!
Dear Tina, Thank you for sharing this heartfelt reflection on the life of GG and how her wisdom, perspective, gracious hospitality, and care shaped your heart in such beautiful ways. What a lesson and legacy she embodies! It’s no wonder you are still grieving her absence from this world. May you continue to see glimpses of her in your comings and goings, and may you offer her to others.