My grandmother, Julia Sue Ayer, passed away peacefully, quickly, and most importantly, into the arms of Jesus on May 7th, 2017. She had four family members surrounding her and she was not in pain.
As I was packing my bags and getting ready to leave for Alaska to see her, I prayed, “God, I would like to see her one more time… but your will be done.” I was not able to see her before she passed, but God had prepared my heart. Not only was my congregation currently walking through the book of Job, earlier this year one of my friends posted a status on Facebook saying that his father was going into surgery and said the following:
“The results of the surgery could be a blessing for him whatever the outcome. Sometimes we are very selfish praying for someone who has dependency on Christ Jesus for eternal life to remain on this side of eternity. I and my dad would ask for prayers of total healing in his earthly body or total healing through bringing him before our Savior’s spiritual presence. ‘Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.'” 2 Cor 5:8 NLT
Wow… and Amen. God provided her with total healing and I could not be more thankful.
There is so much that I could say about my grandma. First of all, I have the honor of sharing an adorable middle name with her (Melissa Sue + Julia Sue = winning at being granddaughter & grandmother). Secondly, I always felt that my grandma truly “got” me. She would send me gifts that were so meaningful and touched my heart and this last Christmas was no exception. The last time I visited her we spent time watching “The Pioneer Woman” at her apartment. Later that week she made a delicious blue cheese dressing by Ree that we enjoyed at my mom’s birthday celebration that I couldn’t stop raving about. Then on Christmas, The Pioneer Woman cookbook showed up under my tree. She sent me a few other things, too, but they are special memories that I want to keep tucked away from the world. Is is possible to share a soul with your grandmother? I think yes.
One of the most healing things that I got to do while I was in Alaska was photograph my grandma’s apartment how it was left. I don’t know why it meant so much to me, but I wanted to capture the beautiful things she collected and the way she had things. While it lacked her physical presence, her spirit was certainly there.