The other night I was on girlwatch at John and Erin’s house when Sage pointed to a framed photo on the wall and said, “That’s my grandma Margaret-Rose.” It was one of those life-goes-on-but-never-the-same moments, when grief—even 25-year-old grief—surfaces in the very best way. No matter how many years pass, no matter what kind of life has happened in the meantime, I want to feel my grief.
You’ve seen this quote before. It really speaks to me. Yes, I grieve my own losses, but I grieve my sweet granddaughter’s loss too, that she—along with her sister and cousins—will not feel the love of their grandma Margaret-Rose unless we do what we can to keep her memory alive.
So here, precious little ones, is a little of what I know about your grandmother, who went to heaven at exactly the right time by God’s calendar, but way too early for earth’s timeline.
Here she is with her parents, Kenneth and Edna Williams, and brother, Daryl. Of course you know great-grandma Williams, since she sends you birthday cards or comes to your parties.
This is the young woman your Gum saw on a George Fox College choir tour and was instantly smitten. Do you think it was a windy day on the Oregon coast?
She noticed him too, and before long they only had eyes for each other.
She was lovely, energetic, expressive, fun-loving, unpredictable.
And in the springtime of 1968, they made an important covenant with each other. That means they promised to love and serve each other for as long as they both lived.
The newlyweds lived in a downtown Newberg apartment while Gum finished college.
Soon they moved all the way to Illinois, where Grandma Margaret-Rose finished college at Elmhurst College with a bachelor of arts degree in eduation.
Fairly soon, their family expanded by two—first Abigail…
…and then Perkins. Gum can tell you lots of funny stories about Perkins.
They loved to make beautiful music and share it, helping others to know more about Jesus.
As much as they loved their pets, Grandma Margaret-Rose and your Gum wanted children.
Along came Rachel, who was born in Kansas.
Then two years later, Peter was born in Colorado.
And two years after that, John was born in Washington. And their family was complete.
Your grandma (and grandpa too) were clear about how to raise their children. [a writing assignment]
Clearly, Grandma Margaret-Rose had a mother heart. Here’s what she wrote for each of her children:
She wrote about Gum too!
They always had a song to sing,
which often included the children.
Now, are you ready for a fun story?
And then your grandma got sick. She did everything the doctor suggested that would make her well. She got well—for a while. So the whole family went to Disneyland!
Here’s the letter she sent to her family and friends at Christmas that year.
Sadly, her cancer came back, and God took her to heaven. Life wasn’t the same after that for Gum and Rachel and Peter and John and her parents and many, many others who knew and loved her. Each one has a story to tell about her. Many wrote down their memories about your grandma Margaret-Rose, and they’re kept in a notebook for you to read someday. But until you learn to read, you can know a little bit about her from this post.
PS: If your parents are reading this, they might enjoy one more piece of her writing.