Monday, November 1

This Too Shall Pass

My Nana and I had a secret code: This Too Shall Pass. It comes from the Bible, of course, we didn't invent such brilliance, but for the life of me I can't find the verses right now.
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It began, I think, in 9th grade when I moved from NY to NC and felt like my world had turned upside down. I got a ride up to NY to visit with my Nana awhile and she talked of how time goes so quickly, that what seemed so horrible at the time would soon pass and life would get better. "This, too," she smiled, "will pass." I found a ride back to NC in the double cab of an 18-wheeler and had a tremendous adventure getting back home.
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When Nana's sister Helen came down with Lou Gehrig's, I reminded her that this, too, shall pass. When my daughter experienced a harsh situation in her life and my mama's heart was breaking, my Nana reminded me: This, too, shall pass. And when my Nana had a small stroke and couldn't speak or get around well, I hugged her, "This, too, shall pass." And it did, she recovered, moved in with my mom.
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When Nana got in the assisted living and had roommate troubles, I encouraged her "This too shall pass." And soon she was in another room with a different roommate.
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But when Nana's doctor told us that she wouldn't live much longer and Nana crawled up in a Nursing Home bed, never to crawl back out, well.... I struggled. It seemed heartless and cold to say "This too shall pass." Because really that's saying, "This will end soon because you'll die." When I first visited and she stared long and deep into my eyes, begging me to say "This too shall pass," I shut my lips tight together and stared right back at her.
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See, I didn't want this, too, to pass.
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I visited her several times before this, too, passed. It was always foremost in my mind. But I never, ever uttered those words. Maybe if I didn't say it, it wouldn't happen.
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This, too, passed and Nana was released from her Nursing Home bed to go be with her Abba, Father, in whom she had no doubt and when Pastor Jones, the one who has always been and will always be "My Pastor" reminded us to "Let not our hearts be troubled..." Well... I had to rethink things.
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And I'm thinking I should have said "This, too, shall pass," because Nana believed the best was yet to come and for her, as was for Paul the Apostle, that meant she "eagerly expected and hoped that she would no in way be ashamed, but would have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ would be exalted in her body, whether by life or by death. For to her, to live was Christ and to die was gain." Phil. 1:20-22. And if I had told Nana "This, too, shall pass," it would have been encouraging, not discouraging as I feared. So, Nana. . . I got it, I finally got it!
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4 comments:

Ruth said...

Wonderful post, Val, and wonderful memories of your gramma.

Anonymous said...

TREMENDOUS TRIBUTE TO YOUR NANA, VAL. JUST LIKE ALL MOMS AND GRANDMAS, ALWAYS HOLDING US TOGETHER EVEN IN THEIR PHYSICAL ABSENCE/

~Connie said...

Incredible!

Mom said...

Amazing post honey, I remember you two telling each other that so so often, she was a great Mother and grandmother and loved her family more than anything -------other than Jesus of course!!