As many of you know, Ryan’s grandmother passed away on the 5th of October. Tuesday evening a visitation was held and yesterday morning was the funeral in Wichita, Kansas.
Ryan said the following words, with a few ad libs, through his tears:
My name is Ryan Lindsey, the seventh of the grandkids. Mom has asked me to come up and share on behalf of some of the other grandkids. This task would easily take up the morning, the rest of the day, and several more days. Many of my memories come from the week each summer I would spend with Grandma and Grandad. These were weeks I could eat Spaghetti O’s each day with a grilled cheese that was toasted and then microwaved. Grandma could not understand why I would need to bring my own bottle of BBQ sauce every time I came.
Christmas was a time to be crammed together opening presents on the seam of the paper so the paper could be used again next year. And chilli is still my favourite Christmas meal! One Christmas I didn’t even tell Grandma I was bringing a student with me and the next day she had a present for him under the tree.
After a tornado came through Wichita I called to see if Grandma and Grandad needed me to come down, but Grandma responded they only had a bit of wind. It was not for a couple of weeks that I found out the 40 foot pine tree was on the garage and Grandad had climbed it with a chainsaw!
Grandma’s eyes always had a twinkle of love even when nothing was said. The love and respect between Grandma and Grandad has been on display for 75 years and it has been inspirational how they started each morning with a kiss. Grandma even told me once how much she liked the look of Grandad on a horse!
After I became a Christian at university, she was pleased and took my face into her hands. My later call to ministry and then overseas brought more praise from her. Once when talking with her about a spiritual matter she would recall Bible verses from heart and it struck me how well she knew God and the Bible. She had a list of family and friends by her chair that she would regularly pray over. Imagine the love to continuously take us before God week after week!
Revelation 21:4 says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away.”
Now that I have lived in England these past five years, I must quote a famous British pastor. Charles Spurgeon said, “We have suffered bereavement after bereavement but we are going to the land of the immortals where graves do not exist.”
Grandma! Your faith in Jesus has brought you there. take rest in your restored body and mind. In Christ we will meet again.
This, in my opinion, was my husband’s most eloquent speech thus far…even between his tears! I am very proud of him and his brother, who next stood before us reading a beautiful tribute written by their sister.
What was most difficult for me was seeing Grandad gripping Grandma’s casket at the visitation as he sat beside her in his wheelchair. This made me cry just for the unimaginable loss he must feel after 75 years. Please pray for him.
After the funeral, we all went our separate ways in search of a quick bit to eat along the drive to Buffalo, Kansas (an hour and half away). It was a beautiful mild, sunny day as we waited for everyone to arrive. Ryan, his brother, and other relatives carried Grandma’s casket to her body’s place of final rest.
Together we said the 23rd Psalm and sang the first verse of Amazing Grace. Cora and Titus were amazed how different the graves look here compared to England. They also thought it interesting how her casket was placed inside a vault and then was lowered into the earth. Titus and Cora picked some white roses and Titus spread some petals over her casket as we said our final goodbyes. I love you, Grandma, and thank you for always loving me!
Ryan’s brother, our family historian, walked us by the family graves placed elsewhere in the Buffalo cemetery. At one grave, we had Cora take her photo by her namesake, Grandad’s mother.
We talked of Grandad’s brother Kahl, whom sadly does not have a grave since his body was not ever found, because Titus bears his middle name.
Although this was a sad day, we are thankful we know where Grandma now lives with Jesus and thankful for being stateside for such a time as this.