Dear Grandma Roberts,
Your first anniversary without Grandpa is coming right up. I can’t imagine the range and the depth of emotions that you will experience on that day. I’m sure that there will be sadness in living your 69th anniversary without your husband. I suspect that you will also have a level of accomplishment in the knowledge that you lived “to death do us part” just as you vowed all of those years ago.
Whatever thoughts and memories come alive in your mind on this upcoming day, I hope that you let yourself feel them. Grief, as you very well know, is a part of life; a process that God himself created for the healing of his children. Certainly it seems as though I am too young and too inexperienced to even suggest words of advice about grief to you, my Grandmother, but I know God and I know his truths, which live fully for the inexperienced and the wise alike. It would be unfair to yourself, to your dearly departed husband, and to your most gracious Creator to forgo the feelings of your heart and the thoughts of your mind on this first anniversary apart. In allowing yourself this painful process of grief, my prayer is that you would find fresh breath and fond recollection of what you and your husband did together, and made together, in the time that you had with each other.
For those of us who have been witness to your marriage relationship, this anniversary will be a reminder of a great long-lived and well-endured covenant. Especially for me, a woman who lost both Grandfathers before memories of them planted in my mind, it has been a pleasure to see a husband and wife live, love, and serve until the very last heartbeat. Your example of commitment leaves a heritage in this family, both extended and in my simple family of four.
We are honored to share your February 23rd. It was yours first and it is still yours. It has been sheer joy to know that each year as we celebrate another year in our own marriage that you were also celebrating a new notch on your long tally of time together.
As Grandpa has passed into his new life, many people in your circle of family and friends have spoken words about legacy, especially his individually as an evangelist. But on this February 23rd, I will be thinking of your legacy together, the one you created as lovers. You did what you vowed, to remain wed for all of your days of life, and you did it well. You did it with humor and service. You birthed and raised four dear children, including my very own beautiful mother in law, and have poured yourselves into each new generation after that. You spread the love of God, the creator of marriage, and your efforts in all of these areas will carry on to those of us who come behind you. Even in death, the legacy of your marriage lives on.
I thank you. Thank you for being faithful. Thank you for living your vow, for loving your mate, and for displaying the truthfulness of a long and lasting covenant. I wish you healing on this upcoming anniversary. But even more than that, I wish you pride in the knowledge that you created a legacy that will see itself through the family line, including (or perhaps, especially) mine. You did it! You saw it through to completion. A glorious and beautiful conclusion.
I love you. You are a brave woman.
Your Granddaughter, Tracy