How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? (Psalm 13:1-2)
I love that we can wrestle with our God in prayer. When my mother battled Alzheimer’s for fifteen years there were many times that I cried out, “Why?” and “How long?” to God.
It wasn’t until my mother’s funeral in 2013 that He answered my heart’s cry. While listening to my oldest daughter’s tribute to her grandmother, He showed me how much my mother’s story had forever impacted all of our lives.
In honor of my mother today, on what would have been her 88th birthday, here’s Christie’s beautiful tribute to her grandmother. . .
What I will remember most about my grandma is her unwavering love for her Savior. Anita lived first and foremost for her King; to honor Him, serve Him, and share His love with anyone who would listen. I believe that her love for the Lord was a quality so deeply a part of her spirit—her being—that it was the one thing that could not be erased as Alzheimer’s slowly stole her memories, independence, and mobility. The Lord called Anita from an early age, and she followed Him so faithfully until the day He called her home. What a tremendous legacy to leave her grandchild.
I am convinced that if the Lord had asked thirteen-year-old Anita if she would be willing to endure Alzheimer’s later in life in order to teach all those she loved about His faithfulness, perfect love, and grace . . . she would have signed on the dotted line.
Perhaps it would have gone something like this. . .
Anita, would you be willing to lose your independence and competency one day in order to teach your husband how to love more perfectly? To show your grandchildren what such powerful love looks like? Yes Lord, even still.
But would you be willing to lose the faces of those you love, including the many memories they inspire, in order to teach your girls what reliance on my grace and omnipotence looks like? Yes Lord, even still.
Would you be willing to give up your love of singing in the church choir and playing the piano so beautifully in order to show hundreds of strangers my love, and share the truth of my name? Yes Lord. Yes, even still.
What a tremendous romance Anita lived out with her Savior while on Earth. While it breaks our hearts to lose her sweet presence, I can’t help but smile as I imagine her first moments meeting her King face to face. I know she’s in her element. No more confusion, no more pain, no more silent suffering, she is made whole—Anita is perfect, lavished in the sweet embrace of her Jesus. I envy the angels who get to listen to her beautiful singing voice as she belts praises in His throne room, but I remain in the promise that I will get to hear that voice again. And this time, she’ll remember me.
I’m sure she’ll take my hand, as if no time has passed, and invite me to sing (though I did not inherit an ounce of her musical talent), as we stand in pure wonder and awe at the face of our God. All the while, my heart will well with thankfulness for the tremendous grandmother the Lord blessed me with, and the beautiful part she played in my knowing Him more deeply on earth. My grandma is my legacy, one I will carry through my whole life, and what an incredible gift it is to possess!
— by Christie Dunagan Riemer
What about you? I’d love to hear who has left the greatest legacy imprint on your own life.