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Rise Together Podcast

199: A Tribute to Grandma Lee

My sweet Grandma Lee made her way to heaven last week. She did so peacefully and pain-free. For a woman who’s seen it all in her hundred years, I can’t even imagine what she’s seeing today.

When I came to say goodbye, her transition had already begun. She’d already spoken her final words. A simple statement to my mom…

“I’m ready.”

It’s an enviable thing, the idea of getting to the end of your life ready to go. It’s a reflection of the power of her faith, a life well lived, and the number of people she’d impacted over time.

The last time we spoke, I asked her how I could support her on this journey toward the end. Without hesitating, she smiled and said, “just keep saying your prayers, David…and don’t let my death — don’t let any hard times that come your way — keep you from living your life.”

This from a woman who was the daughter of Italian immigrants, a veteran of war, a single mom to five who made it through a divorce, buried another husband, lost a son to cancer, a grandson by suicide, and got a front row seat to the perils of serious mental illness and before she died had said goodbye to just about all of her friends.

In hindsight, her answer was highlighting a dynamic duo: the power of faith paired with perseverance. Heeding the call to live fully and love well.

Feels like the recipe for getting to the end, ready to go.

She was one of a kind. Smart, competitive, witty, stubborn, tenacious, and full of grit. Strong for all she’d been through. Wise for all she’d seen. Mostly, I’ll miss the way we made each other laugh.

She loved her church, her family, Wednesday bridge, the frustration of being an Angels fan, and nightly Jeopardy. Last night was the last of seven unresponsive days and the first time the TV in her room was turned on. During a commercial break, her pulse really slowed and my mom read the 23rd Psalm. Twice. When the final Jeopardy question was revealed, her mouth gently closed, and she was free. Feels right.

Thank you for all of the kind notes. Thank you for all the prayers, especially for my mom. There is peace as we turn to celebrate her life and legacy next week.

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