I can still see my grandma on her knees bending over her garden. When our dusty minivan pulled up her long lane, she stood, brushed the dirt off her hands, and came to meet us. She went into the house, pulled out an old grocery sack, and handed Mom a knife.
"There's lots of rhubarb over there," she stated simply.
And so we always left for home with something to take along. Sometimes it was leftover cake. Sometimes it was daffodil bulbs.
These memories come back even more now that Grandma is gone. And they come back especially in the spring because Grandma's birthday was in April.
And, although I know that she couldn't help it, I'm awfully glad that she was born alongside the holiday commemorating resurrection.
It's lonely to lose someone you love, and it's hard to remember that love goes beyond death.
But Christians have hope (and not a flimsy cardboard version of it, either) in a resurrection.
When Grandma died suddenly one day in November, I kept recounting the "lasts." What was the last thing I had said to her? Could I even remember? What was the last glimpse I had of her? Had I waved? Had I simply smiled and turned away, thinking that I would see her the next time?
But now as Easter approaches, I'm reminded that those "lasts" don't count--not really.
Oh, it hurts now and I will probably continue to grieve for years.
But I will see Grandma again, and those first views of her in glory are going to completely knock any "lasts" on earth out of my mind.
Because Jesus rose again. And he's in the business of resurrecting broken spirits, bodies, and hearts--yes, here and now, but also in heaven.
Praise God for resurrection!