Thursday, July 5, 2012

Time Stands Still

Time seems to stand still, yet it is measured in ragged breathing.  Long seconds pass, too long, and all I can think is this is it, she’s going home to Jesus.  But then she gasps and sucks in short almost non-existent breaths which culminate in a loud snore and a deep breath.  A few more breaths more normal than the last are taken and then again, no breathing.

I lay my hand on her arm trying to keep control.

I look at her arm. I begin to stroke it back and forth with my thumb. I feel the soft, shifting age of 95.  My heart wrenches as I connect with her warm, sweet, soft skin.

I can’t stop staring at her arm and I break.

I clamp my jaws together and fight off the waves.

Tears trickle down my cheeks as the memories flow through my mind and grab my heart.

I remember Grandma as she was, small, thin, yet unbelievably strong and feisty.  I love her feistiness. Her quick, dry humor still resounds in my ears.

I see Grandma standing at the stove cooking, preparing a meal to feed many.  My whole family sits  around her dining room table laughing and talking. Grandma spends most of her time offering each of us more meat, salad, bread, milk, until we all think we could burst.

I remember watching for the moment when she would reach into the bottom cupboard and pull out her cookie jar.  My small hand would go in empty through the wide mouth container and return with a large soft molasses cookie that melted in my mouth.

As I gently caress her arm I remember how she always smelled like a Kleenex (due to the fact that she always had one tucked up her sleeve!).  There was always a powdery, fresh, comforting scent about her.  I loved to lean into her as a little girl and just breathe deep.

I remember all the nights my dusty sisters and I took a bath using the pink bar of Caress that rested on the side of the tub.

I treasure the memories of the nights sleeping on the old mattress in the basement, in front of the crackling fireplace, snuggled up under one of Grandma’s old quilts. Sleep gradually swept over me as I listened to the logs pop and the low hum of my parents and grandparents catching up with one another.

While I stare at my grandma’s time worn arm I can almost hear her reading one of the stories she had written. My sisters and I gather around Grandma on the old plaid couch and listen intently as she tells us the story “Night Sounds on Grandpa Smith’s Farm”. The bullfrog makes his presence by a big chig-a-rum and the owls hoot their awakenings. Grandma makes the story come alive by creating each sound perfectly. And we beg to hear it again.

Memories continue to tumble through my mind. My heart is overloaded with them. I couldn’t stop them now even if I wanted to.  They come alive and rush at me as I glide my thumb back over her arm.

Time stands still.

I watch her chest waiting, wondering.  She breathes, I wipe away my tears.

And I pray for Jesus to come soon.



grandma smith


  1. So beautiful I cried! My grandmother was very special to me and she took me in when I was 14 and I lived with her until I married. She also carried a kleenex in her sleeve and always had one in the pocket of her apron.
    May your grandma go peacefully and may God comfort you.

  2. Oh, Jenn. Funny how someone else's memories can bring your own back. You wrote this so beautifully.

    My grandfather passed in a similar way. The waiting can be more difficult than the grief afterwards. I am praying for you, and a peaceful journey to heaven for your grandmother.

  3. Oh - sweet Jenn. This - this waiting (you too with bated breath) is so hard.

    Praying for you as you wait, walk through and watch this unfold.

    Your story reminds me of my own grammy and my grandma...they both have since passed on but their memories-made live on. And so they do by the telling of them.

  4. Hugs, Jenn. The memories are beautiful, cling to them, to your family, and to Jesus. My prayers are with you.

  5. This is incredible, Jenn! I'm speechless and crying. You describe her perfectly! There are so many things I have forgotten that seem so deeply entrenched in your memory. Maybe it was because I was a bit younger? I don't know, but thank you once again for bringing those memories back to the forefront for me. See you soon, sis. Much love!

  6. Precious friend...these are difficult things. Yet, they are precious moments. What a blessing to know that your Grandma knows the LORD!! I will be praying for you today....

    Much Love,

  7. Such a precious post and gave me tears and goosebumps. I remember my mom and going through this. We are so blessed knowing our family is going to the arms of Jesus, you did wonderful!

  8. How is everything going my friend?? I am thinking of you especially today...and praying.

    Much Love,

  9. i know this. grandmas are so very special.

  10. I'm so sorry. I just lost my step-grandpa two days ago. I only have one grandparent left now. It is very sad.

    Love you!


Thank you for visiting my blog! I love to read your comments so take a few minutes and jot me a line or two!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...