This past November, my grandmother passed away. I had the opportunity to share some words about her at her funeral. I've decided to post them here on my blog...
I’m thankful for the opportunity to share a few words about my grandmother, Effie Dureno. As I was trying to think about what to say about my grandma, the question kept nagging at me: how do you say a few short words about someone who has been in your life from the time you were born? I guess the best thing to do is to say who she was to me, and the impact she had on my life.
Who She Was?
My grandma loved to play around and be silly. I’m not sure if she was like this all the time, but I can’t remember a time that I was with her when we weren’t laughing. She had incredible strength, and was a great competitor. I used to sit and play croquinot with her for hours. She eventually couldn’t play with me anymore because her fingers hurt too much from her arthritis. In her later years, she learned how to use the computer and played various computer games. We used to try and beat games together when we were together, sharing frustration and laughter at how silly it all was. Finally, we tended to enter into impromptu staring contests, the most recent round having come this past summer. My grandmother whooped me at these, and I have to admit dejectedly that I couldn’t outstare my 93 year old grandma.
Aside from her playfulness, my grandma was a wonderful lady who impacted many, many people. For those of you who knew her well, you know that she was an accepting person who made everyone feel welcome. She became a grandmother to many people that she had contact with. There was a lot of love in her heart, and she spread that love around on a daily basis. She was faithful to the Lord, and was an example of what faith looks like in day to day life. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know that I would have come to know the Lord to the depths that I have so far. Not only was she a huge example of practical faith, but she taught her children well to love the Lord, and they in turn taught others.
The Impact She Had
Not only did she show me by her life how to live properly as a Christian, but she taught me through our conversations the important things in life. I’ve wrestled with some pretty big questions in my life, but where others were afraid to dialogue with me, my grandma engaged in conversation with me, and really tried to know who I am and guide me according to my personality. I’ll never forget during a time of particular difficulty that I had, talking with her as I was driving her back home. She told me that even though I was wrestling with some issues, she wasn’t worried about me because she knew that in my heart I loved the Lord and was always seeking to follow Him. Even though she didn’t know the answer to the questions I was asking, she was able to see to the heart of the matter and encourage me to continue thinking through issues, but to remain rooted in the Lord, seeking Him first in everything, assuring me that I was right in the attitude of my heart.
Her advice meant something to me, because it was personal, and because I saw the truth of it in her own life. My grandmother was devoted to Jesus, and she passed the importance of that basic world view to me. She tried to please Him in everything that she did, and now she’s praising Him face to face. Her hope is fulfilled. Her expectations have been met. She’s lived a faithful life, and I’m sure that were she here today in body, she would exhort us all to follow her example. Our hope is future, and she would encourage us to keep our eyes focused on Jesus, be faithful and expect to praise Him with her sometime in the future.