Life and Death

I wore a wedding dress to my grandmother’s death bed.

She had been diagnosed with bone cancer only a month before my wedding.  She went, very suddenly, from being a happy and active participant in the wedding plans, to lying in a bed in a back bedroom of her home, hospice workers quietly shuffling in and out of the room.  How we all had prayed she could somehow be at the wedding, in a pretty dress, in her rightful place of honor. 

But she couldn’t. 

My entire life, she had been front and center at all my happiest memories.  She taught me to paint my nails.  She let me use her giant Buick to learn how to drive.  She bought me a new dress when Hubs asked me out on our first big date.  The day I knew I loved him, she was one of the first people I called. 

And yet here she was, on my wedding day, barely hanging on to life.  We left our reception as fast as we could, so determined was I to see her on this day of all days.  The yards of taffeta rustled as I tiptoed into her room and sat down next to her bed.  Her eyes were closed.

"I’m here," I whispered, and I told her about the day.  I told her how handsome my husband looked.  I told her how he kissed me.  I told her about the bridesmaid dresses and the birdseed toss and who caught the bouquet, and I told her that I carried her mother’s Bible with me that day.  I told her who all was there, and how good the cake was, and how happy I was, and how much I loved her, and how very, very much a part of this she still was. 

And as I leaned over to kiss her forehead, a few pieces of stray birdseed, still stuck to my dress, sprinkled gently onto her gown.

What a picture we must have been in that moment.

The start of one life and the end of another.

A beginning and a goodbye.

Life and death.

I left her bedside reluctantly.  My new husband and my new life awaited.  Just as I knew in my heart I was telling her goodbye, I knew she would want me to focus squarely ahead.  So I did. 

She died three days later, while I was still on my honeymoon.  Just as she would’ve wished, my family did not call to tell me, knowing there would be time for mourning when I returned.  But before they buried her, my mother took one of the pink roses from my bridal bouquet and pressed it in my grandmother’s hand. 

Today, my own hand wears her wedding band, nestled against my own.

It’s been a strange and precious blessing over the years, my grandmother’s death and my own wedding bound so tightly together.  I look at her ring on my hand and think of the sweetness and sadness that life sometimes serves to us on the same plate.

I wouldn’t separate them if I could. 

161 thoughts on “Life and Death

  1. Dawn W says:

    Well, I just boohoo’ed like a big ‘ole baby while reading this.
    Both of my grandmother live in another state and both are in failing health. I’ll be leaving a week from today to go back to Ohio with my children to visit my parents, grandparents, sister and cousins. I fear this may be the last time I see my grandmothers.
    Thank you for the beautiful post!

  2. Yvie says:

    This is one of the most sincere and honest blogs I have read. I love this entry Dawn.
    Thank you for sharing. This made me miss my grandmother a lot. She’s got to be one of the people I know who wears a happy face all the time.

  3. JanMary, N Ireland says:

    Beautiful sentiments and your love for her shines through. Wonderful bitter sweet memories. Thanks for sharing.
    I never knew my grandmothers, as both died when I was small, but I love to watch my Mum with my daughters – it is a very precious and special relationship. I would have loved to have known them through more than old photos and other peoples memories.
    Heaven is going to be great!

  4. World's Greatest Mommy says:

    Shannon, how beautiful.
    I was contemplating, just today, how strange it is to have so many of my sad moments all mixed up in my joy, and you illustrated it perfectly for me.
    What a beautiful perspective, and a touching reminder.

  5. Julie says:

    That was so beautiful. I mourn so that my grandfather didn’t live to see my babies born and that my grandmother didn’t live to see my daughter who is now 5. She so would have enjoyed her. It teaches me to cherish the moments my kids have with THEIR grandparents and to make those times a priority.

  6. chilihead says:

    This is one of your finest posts, my friend. I know you understand how wonderful it is that the women in your life have been such amazing role models for you and were so supportive. I love hearing those memories–in person and here.

  7. Dawn says:

    What a beautiful post and tribute to your grandmother! She seems to have taught you lots of wonderful life giving lessons!
    I still remember my grandma’s. One died when I was 5, the other when I was 6 years old but I still remember them and the little things we used to do together like go to Dairy Queen or watch Wheel of Fortune.
    Thank you for writing this dear one.
    God bless your new week ahead!
    Dawn

  8. This Military Mama says:

    My grandma is so close to my heart as well. She lived with us since I was a baby and practically raised me. She was my constant companion at every family event. When she was in the hospital for two weeks after a terrible fall I slept in a chair by herside everynight while I was 6 and a half months pregnant.
    I named my daughter after her.
    It’s a beautiful story. I can image those moments by her side telling her all about your beautiful day. I am sure you treasure them very much.
    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  9. Lysa TerKeurst says:

    Oh sweet friend… this was simply beautiful. When you write your book, this is your voice.
    Tender but not sappy. Honest but not preachy.
    The sign of a great writer is one who can show a story rather than tell it.
    And this was a beautiful showing.

  10. AmyDe says:

    This post should have come with a warning. I never knew my own grandparents, but those are the stories I know we would have had. Thank you for sharing.

  11. kristen says:

    What a wonderful and heart rendering post. I know my own grandmother’s death was like that, beautiful and gut wrenching at the same time. I love how everything was done as your grandmother would’ve wanted with no regrets. Just wonderful!

  12. Louise says:

    I was named for my great-grandmother … when I was pregnant with my daughter I wore Gram’s ring when mine got too small … thinking about her strength and humor helped me through labor … and now my little girl also carries Gram’s name as part of her own, a family tradition I hope caries into yet further generations. So many families today are so separated from past generations … thank you for this beautifully bittersweet story, a reminder of the very great importance of family.

  13. Jenn says:

    That was a beautiful post. I’ve been thinking alot about family and the life cycle lately. I have two aunts in hospital who may not make it out, my sister JUST gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Friday, and I am carrying our second child. These events really do make one think about life and death.

  14. mimi2six says:

    Gally would love this, Shannon. Her illness, your wedding, and then her death had us on a roller coaster of emotions. God faithfully saw us through those days. Thank you for writing this so beautifully; you have truly honored her.

  15. Amy says:

    What an amazing story! I can’t even imagine how much it meant to your grandmother that you came to her in your wedding dress. What a testimony to the wonderful relationship you had with her that seeing her was one of you priorities on your wedding day. I’m sure that is a memory you’ll treasure until you see her again.

  16. Llama Momma says:

    Shannon — Oh, how often the bitter and the sweet have mingled together in my own life! There is a raw beauty to this scene with your grandmother that cuts right to the heart of life. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  17. From Dawn Till Rusk says:

    That actually brought a real tear to my eye – and that’s no mean feat for an old cynic like me.
    Also made me hunt out photos of my nana who died before she ever met my children, a big regret in my life.

  18. Lori says:

    Precious. That was probably the sweetest blog I’ve ever read. Almost had me in tears. I too remember the last time I was with my grandma…many years ago. And I remember on my wedding day wishing she was there. Ahhh the sweet memories you’ve brought back! Thanks!

  19. We are THAT family says:

    That was so beautiful. You are so blessed to have such a heritage and memories.
    A horrible family split separated me from my Grandma as a child.
    I just recently found her. She is 84 and alone. I’ve sent pictures of my kids and letters. And called her. God is in it.

  20. Libby says:

    Shannon, thank you for the heartfelt post. I wear my grandmother’s wedding band, too…the one she wore while married to my grandfather for 65 years. She passed away two months before I became engaged to my husband and her absence was a loss on my wedding day, even though I feel her with me still. Thank you for sharing.

  21. kelly s. says:

    Oh my, what a lovely and touching story. I only hope I can leave a legacy like this to my children and grandchildren!
    Thanks for the beautiful story.
    Kelly S.

  22. Lindsay says:

    That was a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing this very personal moment in your life. It touched me so deeply. I am sure your grandmother is very proud of where you are today and all that you do.

  23. Alyce says:

    Your story was very moving. You have fond memories. I was close to my grandmother too. She lived till she was 90 years old, she died 17 months ago. It was expected, but still just very hard. I had a Christmas wedding and she was there with her bright Christmas red dress on..she always had to be the best dressed..and she usually was. My husband and I got married on the same date that my grandma and grandaddy did..and they were married for over 50 years, so I can only pray that we will follow their path. Today, I have a set of my grandmother’s wedding rings. I proudly wear them!
    Thanks for sharing..
    Alyce

  24. Anna says:

    That is one of the most beautiful things I’ve read, too many tears today between your blog and audreycaroline.blogspot.com My Great Aunt missed my wedding, my own grandmothers long gone, she filled that role, and she filled it perfectly. She bought my dress for me, as she did for my mother. I would have done anything to have her there on the day, I DID everything I could to have her there on the day. I visited her 4 days later. I took her my bouquet, and brought my dress out. We looked through my photographs, she was so happy, and so was I. I lost her less than 2 months later.

  25. Amy A says:

    You write with such great heart. This is one of your best posts of all time. It’s simply beautiful. Thanks for sharing those memories with us.

  26. Lindsay says:

    I never get teary eyed reading blogs, and I almost cried reading this. It reminds me so much of the last moments with my grandmother, a woman like yours who helped to shape me into who I am today. Thank you for sharing this and reminding me of the importance of family.

  27. Fran says:

    Oh Shannon…that was just beautiful. I would have loved to had my grandmother as a part of our wedding. She died while I was in college. I still miss her so much.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Have a great day friend!

  28. The (Almost) Amazing Mammarino says:

    Beautiful, Shannon. Your grandmother must have been such a special lady.
    I can relate to not being able to attend my own grandmother’s funeral (the only grandmother I ever knew.) When I was 20, I was attending a music camp about 7-8 hours away. A counselor came to get me during supper to tell me I had a phone call. I knew.
    I wanted to come to the funeral, but my mom begged me not to because it was so far away. I stayed at camp for her sake because she was under so much stress and I knew she didn’t need the additional burden of worrying about my arriving there safely.
    I was blessed to have spent 3 weeks with my grandmother before leaving for camp. It gave my mother a sorely needed break, and those last moments with her were simply precious to me. I also was able to spend time with my great aunt, grandmother’s sister, who had never married and had lived with her sister for her entire life. I knew she would be lonely after Grandmother died, so I lived with her the entire summer the following year. I have the most precious memories of my 84-year-old roommate!

  29. Sheri says:

    I know exactly how you felt. My grandmother actually dies on the morning of our wedding. We knew she wasn’t going to be able to make it to the weeding and was going to pass on at any time. However, she was able to “be” at the wedding with the best seat of all.

  30. Becky Day says:

    Losing grandparents you are so fond of is very difficult! It’s such a special relationship that the Lord gives us. I was close to my Dad’s mom and loved her so much. I still miss her so much. It saddens me that she never knew my children!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Becky @ 4 Days in a Week

  31. Carrie says:

    Mkay, you really need to post tissue warnings…I’m crying and have no idea where the kleenex are!!!!!
    What a beautiful tribute to your Grandma…

  32. Cheryl says:

    Simply beautiful…your memories and the way you’ve so artfully described them. I’m confident your grandmother is smiling.

  33. Marie says:

    That was beautiful, I lost my grandmother around the time my son was born. It was bittersweet. She got to see him and spend some time getting to know him and even gave me advice on changing diapers and such. I loved her very much and thank God for that quality time we did have.

  34. aimee says:

    Oh my goodness you had my crying from the first line. This is so beautiful. What a gift her life was to you and yours to her.

  35. jen says:

    Oh, no! I’m crying into my bowl of Special K.
    What a sweet, sweet post! Thank you for the reminder of how sweet life (and grandparents) is!

  36. Tracye says:

    My mother-in-law went with my two kids and me to my husband’s graduation from the FBI National Academy last Friday. It was a loooong trip, and yesterday, on the two-hour car ride home from the airport, we talked a lot. We talked about our grandmothers and how much they meant to us. I teared up just thinking about her, and how much I still miss her. I was married on the one year anniversary of her death. So each anniversary I celebrate is one more year she’s been gone. I’m crying as I type this, and it’s been twelve 1/2 years since she died. I love this post.

  37. Kristenkj says:

    What a beautiful story. Both of my grandmothers passed away before I could have this type of relationship with them. For that I am so sad. It is nice to hear about your relationship. And it helps me to remember what I want for my daughter, and how I can encourage her relationship with my own mother, and mother in law.

  38. Linda says:

    i am wearing my mother’s ring set. she died in 94 before i was married. thank you for a beautiful post and gentle reminder of the marks in our life that change us and grow us and are part of molding us into who HE wants us to be.

  39. Sheila says:

    I too have two events tied together, my great-grandmothers death and the birth of my first child. You articulated so beautifully the feelings I have had but could not put them into words. THANK YOU

  40. GiBee says:

    The very same thing happened with my sister-in-law (my hubby’s sister). My husband and I were the ones to drive them to the airport, but before they left to change, we stopped by the nursing home where my husband’s grandmother was so she could see my SIL in her wedding gown. We all gathered next to her to hold her hand, hug her, kiss her, and share special moments from the day as we stood in our gowns and tuxedos with her. It wasn’t long after that she passed away.
    The bond between a grandmother and a granddaughter is truly special, isn’t it?

  41. Queen B says:

    This is a beautiful post. Your grandmother was such a blessing. Such a sweet lady.
    When my grandfather died just before my daughter was born, I remember feeling that God protected my heart by surrounding my sadness with the joy of new life.
    I thought the same about your grandmother.
    I didn’t know about the rose. It brought out the kleenex!!

  42. Vickie says:

    Shannon,
    I read this with tears and memories flooding my heart. My precious grandmother was buried 2 days before my wedding. I remember pulling away from the cemetary and my Dad says, “Now we have a wedding to get ready for!” He was trying to be upbeat. This was my first grandparent to pass and it was very difficult. I remember rushing to the hospital with my wedding portraits in hand to show her the day she died.
    Then the day of my wedding my Dad had an emergency appendectomy. He was so ill and they had to do surgery and could not wait until the next day. We went to the hospital after the wedding to see him. Reading your post about the birdseed spilling out reminded me of that very thing happening when I leaned over to kiss my precious Daddy who had missed his oldest childs wedding due to circumstances beyond his control.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful story. I wished I would have read it at home tonight since I am a crying mess at work right now.
    Beautiful and eloquent as always.
    Blessings,
    Vickie

  43. Andi S says:

    Such a beautiful and bittersweet memory.
    We have a similar memory. My husband’s Grandmother passed away a few months before we got engaged. His Grandfather had Parkinson’s and which progressed rapidly after his wife died. On our wedding day we had hoped that he would be able to join us, but it just didn’t work out. So instead, in full wedding dress and tux, we drove to the nursing home before the reception to go visit him. We made so many people smile that day. And I know that he loved to see us as he sat in his wheelchair. He cried and told my husband how beautiful I was. He passed away a few months later.
    Weddings fly by in a blur, but that is one part of that day that I will never forget

  44. Kim says:

    This brought tears to my eyes, for you, and for me. Memories came flooding back of my own wedding. It took place in room 444 on the hospice floor of our local hospital. My sister and I married our loves in a double wedding while our mom looked on from her hospital bed. She fought valiently for another month and then went home to the Lord.

  45. Laura says:

    Thank you for sharing this. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t find my Grandmother – in the flowers blooming in the front yard or the chirping of the birds. Or in little words of wisdom that she shared with my daughter. Today I have found her right here. Thank you.

  46. windy says:

    Beautiful! I can hardly type for the tears. I was also very close to my grandmother who passed away while I was expecting my 2nd child. She is so like my grandmother and I know that they would love each other so much and have a special bond. I feel my daughter got cheated, not being able to know her ‘twin’.

  47. pippi says:

    I totally agree. My prom date and the couple we doubled with graciously agreed to stop at the hospital on the way to the prom so my beloved grandmother could see me in the dress she helped to make. My mother for reasons unknown to me decided to bury my gram on my 19th birthday. I was angry for years, but now my birthday also reminds me of Gram and that’s a good thing. One of the biggest regrets in my life was that my son was born after my husbands and my parents had passed away. He missed that special relationship with a grandparent that has meant so much in my own life.

  48. Cindy says:

    Oh man, you should have had a big Kleenex alert at the top of this story!! It really is a beautiful story! Now…as I try to dry my eyes & make the horrible redness go away.

  49. Alicia says:

    That is so sweet. My pappy told me when I was a girl that he wanted to dance at my wedding. I still missed him at my wedding eleven years later. I’m grateful to have my grandma still, and I, too, have a daughter named after her.

  50. Dani says:

    That was so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing, Shannon.
    A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my father dying on my brother’s wedding day. I truly believe he did that so he could be there in spirit, because he certainly couldn’t have been there otherwise.
    The circle of life, and God’s intervention in how it works, is an amazing thing.

  51. Mamacita says:

    This is so beautiful. My grandmother died not on the day of my wedding, but the same year, so this brings back a lot of memories for me.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  52. Amy says:

    Thanks for sharing. That was beautiful. My makeup is now all over my face…
    My SIL got married this weekend, and her grandfather is not doing well. He was able to make it to the wedding, and both of them had tears in their eyes when he walked into the room. It was so incredibly touching.

  53. Happy Mommy says:

    My grandma raised me. She is in the hospital right now, although not on deaths door, she still is not well. Your story rings so true in my mind. Thank you for sharing!

  54. shanna says:

    Ugh, crying into my keyboard at work. This was really touching. I truly love what you write and I always feel a connection to you. But how am I supposed to sneek in my blog reading while I’m at work if you make me cry?? I’m just kidding, thanks for a great post!

  55. Heather Beckley says:

    This just breaks my heart. It brought tears to my eyes. I feel your pain, I just lost my “Bagaw” 3 weeks ago. It hurts so much that sometimes it consumes me. We were very close and I miss her dearly. She passed away on vacation so I didn’t get to sit by her hospital bed, I so wanted to. I feel that since I didn’t get to see her, to say goodbye, that she’s not really gone. It’s almost like I’m still waiting for her to come home. Thank you for your post.

  56. threeundertwo says:

    Tomorrow I am taking the kids to their grandfather’s funeral, and there we will console their aunt, who is burying her father just days after her own wedding.
    It is such a blessing, when someone holds on so that they can share one last milestone in our humble lives. Your happiness brought your grandmother joy.
    Thank you for the beautiful post. It really speaks to me today.

  57. Teri says:

    We’re a month away from the first year anniversary of my Daddy’s going Home. My 3rd daughter was married in December & she was bound & determined that he was going to be there. He didn’t make it. The cancer won. We took a picture of him & put it on the unity candle table. When they took the pictures of the grandparents, my mother was holding his picture to her heart.
    I didn’t have that type of relationship with my grandparents. I want my grandchildren to have that with me. Which would explain why my floors still need mopped today. My son & his daughter was here & we sat on the porch swing & ate ice cream, petted the cats and sang loud & off key. She may not remember this afternoon but I will.

  58. Molly says:

    I totally can relate to this—life pressing on with new possibilities for joy that you could never have imagined, yet so much sorrow still as we look back and miss what was and what could have been. Thanks for writing this, Shannon.

  59. genny says:

    Your story, and the beautiful way that you wrote it, really touched me. Thank you for making me stop and think about my own grandparents today and the love that they passed down to the generations after them.

  60. Stephanie says:

    Amazing story! Thank you for sharing it. I’m sure she is looking down from heaven so proud of you and happy that you are happy.

  61. Jen D. says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your memory with your blog readers. It actually brought me to tears.
    My wedding was also bitter sweet. Although, my father passed away seven years before I got married I missed him so much it hurt on my wedding day. My brother walked me down the isle, but it was not the same. Don’t get me wrong my wedding was a wonderful and special day in my life, but by the same token it was difficult not to feel saddened by the obvious absence of my father.

  62. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for such a beautiful post. I attended my grandmother’s funeral in February, and I am so thankful for the heritage of faith she has given our family. I read your blog every day and always look forward to your entries.

  63. Beachy Mimi says:

    Your grandmother was a funny and sweet woman. I miss both your grandparents. I remember how beautiful you looked on your wedding day. I think she just waited to see you married!! This was a wonderful post about her and that day.

  64. Headless Mom says:

    What a beautiful story. I recently lost my grandmother- she was 101! Sweetness and sorrow often come together. We’re blessed to have both, really.

  65. Kara Messner says:

    What a precious moment that must’ve been for you to have with her. What a great memoir to have in your heart and on your hand. Thanks for sharing.

  66. Robin (the pensieve one) says:

    A memory to cherish for a lifetime, one that surely bleeds life into future generations.
    A lovely tribute to her life, sweet legacy that lives on in the hearts and minds of many.
    So glad I didn’t miss this post…it would have been my loss.
    🙂

  67. Heather says:

    Well… that was… an absolute testament to your grandmother and a beautiful sentiment to share with us. Thank you.
    I too wear my grandmother’s wedding rings, she passed away while I was pregnant with my daughter who we named an “E” name after her.
    She taught me to love God, took me to church and at her funeral as her favorite hymn was sung ” How Great Thou Art,” my shoulders were lifted and I smiled and shed no more tears because Grandma was with her creator.
    Thank you for warming my heart and ending my day with such beauty!

  68. nottryingforaboy says:

    You’ve moved me to tears.
    I was extremely close with my grandma. She died when I was 6 weeks pregnant with my first born who is now 5. It still saddens me that they never met.

  69. Holly Smith says:

    I love you even more, Shannon! What a testimony of love and faithfulness–not only on your part, but also on your Grandmother’s. What a woman she must have been for you to have her so fully on your mind and heart on a day that usually is just for the bride. Thank you for loving her like that–looks a lot like Christ to me. I hope I am that kind of Grandmother; really, I pray that I am.

  70. Runningamuck says:

    Beautiful. I could picture the scene perfectly in my mind (although you were wearing my wedding dress hope you don’t mind. lol) and was thinking what a wonderful picture the two of you must have made. Did anyone snap a quick one for you? The details, both physical and emotional, would have been breathtaking.
    Thank you for the sharing such an intimate moment.

  71. Ann Voskamp @ Holy Experience says:

    So it is: the ache and the beauty, the goodbyes and the beginnings, the losses and the gains, all mingling down to water a life. Beautiful, friend…
    He’s grown good, good things in you, Shannon. I can see Grandma happily smiling from ear to ear over your fruit, this life and Him you’re squarely focusing on.
    Yes, isn’t it so? Life is this bowl of cherries bestowed, pit part of the sweet. And only He would dream up redeeming the pits for another pie orchard, for a someday generation. Always using all for good, wasting nothing.
    Good to walk with you, Shannon, through this rain, wet and good, He sends…
    All’s grace,
    Ann

  72. sandy says:

    Thank you for sharing Shannon. So beautiful …
    That is how I felt toward my Mother who left when my youngest was a baby.
    Sometimes it’s hard to believe …

  73. Vicky says:

    Thank you for sharing this story, Shannon.
    This is one of my biggest fears. I am the oldest grandchild, and my grandma and I have a special bond. She is still healthy, but I so want her to be at my wedding one day and meet my children… and I worry that she might not. I can’t imagine my life without her… When my mom (her daughter) died 11 years ago, my grandma’s role became even more important in my life.
    I know that God will carry me through that loss one day… I just hope it’s still a long way off.

  74. Rebecca says:

    What a beautiful and precious tribute to your Grandma, Shannon. Thank you so much for sharing.

  75. Lucy says:

    What a beautiful story.
    My grandmother gave my husband her wedding rings to use when we got married. It means so much to me to wear rings that were worn for 52 years and symbolize a marriage that lasted through joy and pain, love and heartache, until my grandfather’s death. My grandma danced at my wedding, but died the next year, a month before the birth of my first child – her first great-grandchild.
    Seven years later I still miss her and sometimes drive past her house to cry and remember living with her for two years before I got married. She was an amazing woman and I was blessed to have her in my life.
    Thanks a lot for making me cry! LOL!

  76. Mandy says:

    Nothing like a good cry first thing in the morning. The same thing happened to me & my great grandmother except it was H.S. graduation.
    I also wear her wedding band.
    Beautiful post.

  77. Amy says:

    Wonderful words. I am too reminded of my grandmother and her passing….
    What a beautiful way to think of her…
    Off to wipe my tears! 😉

  78. Tamara says:

    What a precious post. It reminds me of this scripture: “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19.

  79. Barb says:

    This is a precious post. Sounds like you had a wonderful relationship with your grandmother.
    My Dad’s Mom died at the age of 84 1/2 when I had only been married a few years. I was in TX, husband in the AF, I was pregnant and could not travel to go to her funeral. Mother’s Mom died 9 years later at the age of 84 1/2 in 1976. My children knew my Mother’s Mom and I’m so glad of that.

  80. Karen Deborah says:

    I loved my Grandmother too and was very close to her, she lived to be 99. It is so hard to let go of someone so important. That was one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. This is my first visit to you and I will be back, lovely lovely story from the heart. She trained you well. Paul commends Timothy’s grandmother for his upbringing, we grandmothers have an important job to do, and most importantly the love.

  81. Susan says:

    This was just so beautiful…
    I’ve never had a grandmother, I can “only imagine’. I’m so glad you went to show her your dress!
    I’ll never forget this story, ever.

  82. jubilee says:

    It is interesting, isn’t it that the joys and sorrows are all tangled up together in so many of life’s events and milestones?
    A tender, touching story, thank you for sharing it.

  83. Cheri C says:

    Less than six weeks ago, my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer and she had a cancerous brain tumor removed. I am having a very hard time with it all. Mostly because she is so close to my children. My daughter is 10 and unless the Lord performs a miracle, my mom won’t be at my daughter’s wedding, either.
    My mom takes my daughter to get pedicures. She buys her cute clothes and takes all the kids on cool vacations (along with my dad). She is an amazing grandma. And has been an amazing mother all of my life.
    I don’t know why I’m telling you all of this. Just sitting here bawling and typing. Thank you so much for this post. I loved it.

  84. Cheri C says:

    Less than six weeks ago, my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer and she had a cancerous brain tumor removed. I am having a very hard time with it all. Mostly because she is so close to my children. My daughter is 10 and unless the Lord performs a miracle, my mom won’t be at my daughter’s wedding, either.
    My mom takes my daughter to get pedicures. She buys her cute clothes and takes all the kids on cool vacations (along with my dad). She is an amazing grandma. And has been an amazing mother all of my life.
    I don’t know why I’m telling you all of this. Just sitting here bawling and typing. Thank you so much for this post. I loved it.

  85. Tami Fox says:

    Shannon, your story brought back the memories of my own wedding. I had a similar experience when I got married, except it was my great-grandfather who was sick. On the morning of my wedding there was great discussion on who was going to the wedding and who was going to sit by my great-grandfather’s side. He also passed away three days after our wedding. We did cut our honeymoon short in order to be at the funeral. So I understand having great joy and geat pain tied up in one memory.
    –Tami

  86. Melissa says:

    This was beautiful! My 3 year old wants to know why im sitting at the computer crying 😉
    My second daughter was born two days before my grandfathers b-day who passed a few months before she was born. They say one must go for another to come.

  87. Amy Caroline says:

    Shame on you, making a pregnant lady cry.
    That was beautiful and thank you for sharing it. My grandma, God bless her soul, died only a few months after I gave birth to my first child. I always weave those events together, just as you have, both joy and pain, but knowing that she is looking out for us all, and maybe especially after my edlest daughter.

  88. bee says:

    I just read this for the umpteenth time. It is absolutely a beautiful post. I think it may be one of my favorites here!

  89. Koryn Hutchison says:

    As I sit here bawling my eyes out, I just have to say you are such a fantastic writer. When is your book coming out! My own grandma passed away in January of this year, 3,000 miles away from me. My military husband and I have lived far from her ever since our wedding day. Because I wasn’t there it hardly seems real to me still. I suppose it will feel that way until I see her grave site. She gave me a grandmother clock (the mummy style rounded top-type) from her antique collection last year. It was shipped out here to the east coast but it stopped working somewhere in the transition. I recently received a small inheritance from her estate and plan to use some of it to repair the clock so I can hear it chime and remember sitting in her living room listening to it, hearing the click clocking of over 40 antique clocks in her home, and knowing that….time marches on.

  90. Amanda says:

    Wow. I have such a lump in my throat from reading this. What a touching story. What a mix of emotions you must have had during that time.

  91. Jennifer H. says:

    Ok, now that I’m done sobbing like a baby!! What a poignant post! It brought back so many memories of my grandmother. I lost her in 2004. She was my very best friend and I lost a part of me the day she died. It makes me sad that she’ll never see me get married or have children. At 32, I’m beginning to wonder if either will happen. 🙂 Thank you for being so honest on your blog and sharing a part of your life with us.

  92. Rebecca says:

    My mother-in-law died three months after my husband and I got married. I wear HER husband’s wedding band, which she wore after his death in 1993 (I think it was) until two weeks before she died and gave it to my husband, on the “other side” of my engagement ring.

  93. Patty says:

    That was such a beautiful and touching story. I too know how sad it is too lose someone at a happy time. It makes that a part of your life that more special.

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