Holding Hands

In the days before Koala's first tongue tie and lip tie surgery, I was anxious. She would be four weeks old the day of the procedure. I prayed fervently and often. One of the times I was nursing her and nervously contemplating the road ahead, she reached up and clutched my finger. She held on confidently as if telling me, "It'll be all right, Mommy." I was comforted. I think I whispered "thank you" through my silent tears.

About two months later, our whole family was sick with a bad respiratory cold virus. Late one night Koala spiked a fever and the advice nurse said we should take her to the ER. She was tired and obviously did not feel good. She quietly sat in the car seat next to me. I placed my arm across the seat over her. She reached up and took hold of my thumb. I lightly curled my fingers around her hand and wrist. The confidence in her grasp again seemed meant to reassure me: "It's ok, Mommy. I'm tough. I'll be all right." I was comforted. I remember thanking God for this little blessing amidst a renewed petition to protect and heal her.

*     *     *

After we were married, I began calling her "Gramma R---- M-----," and I spelled it that way, too. I remember her pointing it out to those around her at a family gathering when she was reading something on which I had written it. I don't remember if it was a gift or card or something else. I only remember the look on her face and that she seemed so pleased I had "named her that." (Her words.)

Tonight we went to visit her. It may have been the last time I will see her this side of heaven. The girls were not bothered by her appearance. They talked to her like they always have. They spoke clearly and did not need to be reminded not to mumble. Koala had plenty to say also. Gramma smiled at each when she spoke to her, but seemed to smile extra big for Koala. When it was time to leave, I sat next to her, with Koala in my lap. I reached over and held Gramma's hand. She confidently held mine back. She seemed to be saying, "It'll be all right. I'll be ok." I was comforted. Go to your reward, Gramma. I'll see you later.

On the way home, Hansome spontaneously began singing:

Time is filled with swift transition
Naught of earth un-moved can stand
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God's unchanging hand.

Trust in Him who will not leave you,
Whatsoever years may bring,
If by earthly friends forsaken,
Still more closely to Him cling.

When your journey is completed,
If to God you have been true,
Fair and bright the home in glory
Your [joyful] soul will view.

Hold to God's unchanging hand!
Hold to God's unchanging hand!
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God's unchanging hand.

*     *     *

Epilogue: When I looked up these lyrics to type them, across the page was a hymn that was sung at my grandmother's funeral: "Precious Memories." Sent from somewhere to my soul. I am comforted.

Gramma R---- M----'s birthday would have been this month. We miss her. I would like to hold her hand again. But I smile when I think that maybe today she is holding hands with her husband. And Jesus.


  1. I'm just now "catching up" on some blogs I follow. I really enjoyed this, Becky. Happy New Year!


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