Life…..Death…..Everlasting Life. A Tribute to my Grandmother.

There are so many polar opposites, so many opposing forces in this life. It amazes me to watch nature as it flourishes with patience, constancy, and little struggle yet it thrives in majesty, in glory, and in so much beauty.

Nature, surrounds us all with calm, the sounds of nature designed to gift us with moments in time to slow our pace long enough to look at what is important. To ponder…. How fully are we living our life? Is it full of chaos and strife? Is it full of a lackadaisical attitude? Or is it full of purpose in the heart? Focus in the vision? Calm among the chaos? Are we full of self? Full of joy? Filled with grief, anxiety, or sorrow? Are we full of life so much so that we can share our self with others?

My Grandmother, a woman who shared all of who she was with others. Always had time to talk, to listen, to make you laugh, to reach out to those, others walked away from. She wrote books, studied maps, knew Yellowstone inside and out, studied every constellation and the journey of the Bible as it relates to the stars. She took great care of her six children and their families. She took care of Grandpa, keeping him on his toes with her enthusiasm, her vivacious personality, and keeping him updated on her latest ventures as he sat quietly in his chair, book in hand.

Grandmother passed on to glory, but her Spirit lives on! This side of Heaven my heart aches along with many others…….But never have I heard a woman talk about Heaven and eternity more than my Grandmother!! Thanks to her descriptions of Heaven and Hell when I was 5 years old, I determined I had better ask Jesus into my heart!!!

In my heart I remember a woman of faith, determination, strength of character, a power house of prayer. A woman who took notice of every rock in the river bed, every wildflower no matter how small. She knew the name of every geyser in Yellowstone National Park. Boasted proudly of the 26+ years of skiing the slopes at Grand Targhee. A woman who wore very bright colors, made her clothes, wore crazy hats and glued plastic flowers to bright purple sweaters just because she could get away with wearing them, because she was, after all…….Rosemary Frantz! She bought my old Jeep Cherokee off of me to help me pay for Bible college.

What sweetness remains in my soul as I sang worship songs while playing my guitar for her as she laid in wait of Heaven’s gates. To watch her eyes flutter when I sang the name of Jesus. To hold her beautiful hand in mine and to feel her squeeze it gently acknowledging my presence with her. Stroking her silver hair, touching her soft face, touching her chest as it would rise and fall, watching my children come close, holding her hand and whispering “I love you, Great-Grandma,” as their little hands held her hands of wisdom from age, life-giving, tender-hearted, and nurturing.

Tears coming whenever they feel the need. My throat gets choked up when I think of so many amazing memories I have shared with her even these last 6 years since my return from Australia. Life, so precious…the years we are granted not to be taken for granted. Going to Yellowstone again with Grandma, 5.5 years ago. Listening to her chatter about how Yellowstone was hers. Making the same treats for my kids as she made for me when I was a child to take on our Yellowstone adventures.

Other times, sitting on the floor resting my hands on her knee, asking her if she thought Fred was the man for me. Listening as she prayed for Fred and I before we ever married. Telling me to leap and stand strong in my faith. Reminiscing together about how she met my grandfather and seeing the stars that always remained in her eyes for him at the mention of his name, Charles Frantz.

I loved driving grandma to my house, even with the onset of Alzheimer’s, she always remembered coming to our house. “I have been here before,” she always said as we pulled into the driveway. Maybe it was all the chocolate and tea I would give her, the milk and cookies, playing silly games with the kids, making holiday wreaths together……no matter, we always had fun. Towards the end she did not remember me, but I would visit her at the nursing home.

Sitting  snuggled up on the couch with her, my head on her shoulder, holding her hand. She would whisper all sorts of thoughts to me, confide in me as we sat in the warmth of one another. I would remind her that I was her granddaughter, and “could I give you a kiss on the cheek Grandma?” I would ask. Always, “Yes!” We went out in the winter weather for walks, and one time she wanted me to make snowballs for her to throw. In the fall she gathered leaves, raked up piles, and would remind me to look at the littlest things in life and to see their beauty. She helped me slow down, stop time even, a smile on her face. In her death, life lives on. I see so much of my grandmother in my mother, myself, and my daughter. I am proud to have called her Grandmother.

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