Not My Home

This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

Oh Lord, you know I have no friend like you
If heaven’s not my home then Lord what will I do.
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

walking Granny home

When you are thirteen years old, you feel like your life is just beginning. You start learning from other adults outside your family circle. As you are exposed to a wider variety of friends and their families, you realize that your family is not the only way that people choose to live.

As I look back thirteen years, all four of my children’s grandparents were still actively involved in their lives.

One by one, every four years, we adjusted to life without a grandparent.

But saying farewell to the remaining grandparent was hardest.

Perhaps it was because we are now the “old” generation.

Or because of sharing life with her every day for thirty-five years.

Her home was just across the driveway, in full view of our home. She had been there to help with watching our girls when they were little.

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Tea parties, sometimes just because the girls had asked to use Grandma’s bathroom when they were outside playing in her trees. At other times, the tea parties were planned, with invitations, and a dress code requiring “dress up.”

She taught at least two of our girls to ride bike, spending hours starting them at the top of the gentle knoll in our driveway and running alongside as gravity coaxed them down the hill.

On many mornings, the girls would leave our house and run over to Grandma’s to wait for the school bus. From her window, they could see the bus turn the corner and be outside not one extra minute, which is important when the wind is blowing across the prairie.

Grandma also taught them to appreciate the big band songs of Lawrence Welk,  and the ballroom-style of dancing from the 40’s and 50’s.

When there weren’t enough people to play ROOK, she showed them how to play cards with a dummy hand.

And nearly every morning for those thirty-five years, she and I walked at least a mile together. We talked about everything, from gossip (yes!) to philosophy. And at times she credited me with her most recent health kick.

The last eighteen months of her life continued to be lived on her terms, mostly. We knew that our presence and attention made it possible for her to stay in her home. She loved her little house and took pride in its upkeep, even when it was physically challenging for her to do that.

Nearly a year ago, cancer beat out her healthy cells. She was at peace.

But this week, we let go again. Her house is gone. Emotions are mixed.

Rejoicing in the excitement of the new owners.

Relief that we no longer need to tend that property.

Reminiscing about the stories those walls could tell.

Reflecting that this world is NOT our home.

God promises that he is preparing a place for us with him. As I get older, and closer to the home he is getting ready for me, it is easier to let go.

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But when I saw her house go around the corner, down the road, never to be seen out my window again, my eyes misted, my heart clutched, and my breath came in ragged snatches.

And though God wants me to hold things loosely, I know He understands my sadness.

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