As some of you know, my grandmother passed away with cancer this week. The past few days have been a time for Laura and me to grieve, to cry, to laugh, and to rejoice. We have felt the physical distance from home but also the nearness of heart with family.

There are too many things to say about grandmom. She made really great chocolate chip cookies. She knew exactly when to take them out of the oven. I can’t recall hearing her complain. She and granddad never missed one of our sporting events. She convinced my friends to eat apple pie with a slice of cheese on the top. I was never able to leave her house without taking something…a coke, a bag of cookies, a magazine, a handful of pictures. When grandmom got startled she would let out a big “whoop!” She gave us a particularly good “whoop” while playing cards at the beach many years ago. 50% of the time she called me “Tommy” or “Gary” (my dad’s name and my uncle’s name). I always liked that. She loved to help and to serve; and this is what stands out the most to me. I was always amazed with this.

Grandmom was a woman who put her faith in Jesus. Even now I can imagine her saying these words from Psalm 84:1-2, “What a beautiful home, God of the Angel Armies! I’ve always longed to live in a place like this, always dreamed of a room in Your house, where I could sing for joy to God—alive!”

I want to say “thanks” to all of you who have encouraged us with your words, your presence and your prayers.