Today,  a woman made a move from an earthly realm to a heavenly one. This woman did not make headlines in the New York Times and was never a feature of People magazine, but she changed lives. She inspired people. She inspired people to inspire still more people. This woman was my grandmother, and she was the embodiment of love.

My Grandma could have complained if she wanted, but she didn’t. She didn’t have it easy. She had to grow up fast and take care of her brothers and sisters while still only a teenager; she had to drop out of school to do that, but I can imagine her even now considering it only a small price to pay. And as a model to others to press on, she got her GED a few decades later.

When my grandfather went to Korea, Grandma went to work. And she worked hard. She was a master seamstress and one of the finest cooks you could have ever met. When he returned, they began a family. They began my family. For though I am a Murray, I am also a Lloyd. Where my Murray roots are chaos, my Lloyd family exemplifies love. They aren’t perfect–they  screw up as much as any one else, but they forgive, they learn, and they move on.

And there is no doubt that this is the fruit of my Grandma’s labor–to be the woman defined in Proverbs 31.

My Grandma is with the Lord today, but her legacy lives on through those she touched. The people to whom she gave from her garden, to whom she gave from her wisdom, from her check book, from her kitchen, from her sewing machine, but most of all from her love and acceptance. For no one would be rejected by my Grandma–she might not know why you dress like you do, but she knew you were  a person and that you deserved to be loved like Jesus would love you. And that’s the legacy she gave my family.

When my father felt he had no family, Grandma reminded him otherwise. When we were without a house, she made us feel at home. When stubborn heads butted against each other, she was the peacemaker. And if no one else could love you, Grandma could.

I miss you already, Grandma. I know I’ll see you again, and I’m glad you aren’t in pain anymore. Say hi to Grandpa for me.


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