My dear grandmother Ruth passed away this week. I spent the weekend in Montana with my mother’s side of the family. My grandmother was the kind of person all her daughters and granddaughters wanted to be like, a true matriarch. She was kind, loving, and always had a song in her heart and a smile on her face. She raised 7 of her own children and countless foster children. She was deeply committed to her Christian faith, reading devotional scriptures daily and singing the old hymns constantly and/or playing them on the piano or flute. She was an adventurer, having climbed every major mountain peak in the western US, despite having been crippled by polio at a young age. She was an award-winning photographer and painter, and wrote poetry. She had an eye for beauty which undoubtedly mirrored her attitude toward life. Though she endured many hardships, she never lost sight of the beautiful side of life. She had a heart of gold which was both natural and nurtured through discipline. I am so lucky to have had her in my life.
One of her favorite hymns:
Oh, Rejoice in the Lord
“God never moves without purpose or plan;
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the Lord through your testing seems long;
In darkness He giveth a song.
I could not see through the shadows ahead;
I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.
Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.
Oh rejoice in the Lord. He makes no mistake.
He knoweth the end of each path that I take.
For when I am tried and purified,
I shall come forth as gold.”