In the Bible, Job said "The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away." I am experiencing both extremes in my life this week.
My grandmother went home to be with her Lord last Thursday. She was a few days shy of being 91. "Grandma Reeta," was full of laughter -- loud laughter. I have never heard anyone else laugh like Reeta. Each of her four grandchildren spoke at her burial service, and we all reminisced about her laughter. Sometimes when she was telling about an incident, she couldn't get the words out because her own laughter kept interrupting.
My youngest cousin, Patrick, told of when, as a teenager, he purchased an old '63 Volkswagon to transform into the ultimate "groovy machine." He was so excited, that he took Grandmama for a ride in it -- before he had done any work on it. Needless to say, it wasn't a smooth ride. And true to her nature, Grandmama's laughter rang out on every bump and jolt.
After the service, the great-grandkids admonished us for not telling of the time Reeta played kickball with them.
She was so astonished when she kicked the ball that she couldn't even run to the base because she was screaming "I KICKED IT! I KICKED IT!" The kids thought it was so funny that they couldn't tag her out, although I don't think they wanted to.
It was too entertaining to let her go through every motion of the game---squealing with laughter the whole way. Knowing the ages of the kids, I think Reeta was at least 75 years old at that time.
The laughter stopped five or six years ago when dementia took over Grandma Reeta's personality. Visiting with her in those years was awkward, because we used to tailor our conversations to bring out her laughter.
With it gone, we were at a loss for words. So, we smiled and held her hand, and she smiled back and nodded her head.
Friday afternoon, all of us cousins declared that heaven is must be a little noisier these days, because Grandma Reeta's beautiful laughter can probably be heard over the angels' choir. She loved to sing every single day while she did housework, so I know she's singing praises to God. But, I have a feeling she's mostly laughing. I think God made her laughter so He could enjoy it as much as we did.
And back to that other end of the "extreme" -- my son, James, is celebrating his 21st birthday today. (Eight more years, and he will have passed his mom with the number of candles on his cake!) God truly blessed me the day He gave me James. And the blessings have grown every day since then. "Blessed be the name of the Lord."