Friday, March 2, 2012

the hour i first believed.

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.

i know there are many more verses to that timeless hymn... but let's be honest.. it gets long. and it's the second verse that i can't make it past without feeling that lump in my throat and tears form in my eyes. it's a memory of my grandmother's funeral..

it's a common hymn played at funerals, i imagine. but for me it's more of a hope, rather than a memory. after the funeral was over, at the little reception, i was talking to my mom's cousin - a nephew of my grandma's- who gave a eulogy at the service. he told me of a time 13 months prior when my grandma was in the hospital awaiting a risky surgery for her 83 year old frame for pancreatic cancer. he told me how they spoke of Jesus and her belief in Him. as the conversation progressed she realized that she had never told Jesus 'thank you' for what He did on the cross for her, for all. and even though they share a birthday day celebration, she had never met with Him personally, only by tradition. so then before an uncertain day, she did.

I do believe that God gave her that year after her surgery, months of fair health, to lavish her with grace. in honor of "the hour she first believed". in that year she was able to meet my sister's future husband, mend a relationship with her sister, spend her last shared birthday with Jesus and with all of us. For me, most significant was that she was able to meet Garrett, her first great-grandson. While we were in ohio for that christmas... she got to see him roll over (i remember her calling me into the living room many false alarms, but he finally did it). i will remember her holding G and singing to him. and saying something in Italian that she said her mom would say. i also remember, laughing, as she passed G off to me saying "he's fat."

i think i knew that was her last chritmas. her health failed soon after that. clearly i remember leaving for the airport but going back in as she was sitting at the table in her pink "housecoat" forcing herself to eat - to give her a last hug and kiss. i admit, i knew. but i remember discussing how she seemed different that time. peaceful. not harboring anger. i talked with her in the living room more than on many other occasions.
flash forward to march 2, 2005. i understood why. i understood her peace. i felt grace and understood it was from "the hour she first believed".

A locket of my grandmother's.
she gave it to me, and i had a pic of matt & me in it.

under it was still a pic of her.

addie loves this necklace and has been wearing it
all the time... it's her "annie" locket.

Addie never met her, but she knows
this is her great grandma
who is in heaven
with Jesus.


  1. This is such a beautiful touching story! It is truly Amazing Grace!