The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

In Memoriam – Jane Clark

grandma The Realm of the Verbal Processor has been on mute for the last week. We got an early morning phone call on Sunday June 29. Julie’s grandmother died. We were able to get reasonable flights to PA the same day (and Julie’s grandfather offered to pay for the flight). Grandma was 85. She and Grampa had been married for 64 years. They had been dating since they were both 14 years old. Needless to say, this had been really rough on him losing his sweetheart of the last 71 years.

In a brief conversation with Grampa this week, he mentioned that they had grown a lot closer after they retired to Florida 25 years ago. What struck me was that after 40 years of marriage (25 years ago), they grew significantly closer in years 41-64 of their marriage. That is really cool…something that Julie and I aspire to. For that matter, we have a great marriage legacy in our families. Thinking about that prompted me to write the post just below this one.

Grandma will be missed. It is only just becoming “real” to Julie. It hit pretty hard yesterday…capped off by a birthday card last night. My birthday is June 30…the day after Grandma died. They had already sent me a birthday card…it was in Grandma’s handwriting. With our traveling to the funeral over the last week, I didn’t open it until last night. Seeing her Grandma’s handwriting on my card tipped things over the edge for Julie last night. It’s very possible that this was the last birthday card she mailed.

That Sunday morning when we told my five year old that Grandma had died, she had this very brief look of shock and horror and then quickly recovered and said, “We won’t get to see Grandma any more til we get to heaven. So when we go to Grandma and Grampa’s house, we’ll only see Grampa? So now Grandma gets to see the fence?”

Julie was a little confused at first until she realized what Marybeth was talking about. “You mean the one with the pearls?” “Yeah…that one.” Then Marybeth started talking about all the things that Grandma gets to do now. She wrapped up with this (in what is a typical stream of consciousness conversation with MB): “It’s very sad for us that we won’t get to see Grandma for a long time til we get to heaven. We’ll get to see her when we go to heaven, but I don’t think God wants me to go to heaven when I’m five…when I’m a grown up. Then some day we’ll all get to go be in heaven, and there won’t be any more earth, and it will be great because no one will have to die any more.”

She just had a perfect balance of appropriate sadness because we will miss Grandma mixed with appropriate joy at recognizing that death is not the end of things. She even got the end of things right. I’m not sure how she knew this because I haven’t been teaching her any lessons from Revelation, but she nailed it.

July 7, 2008 Posted by | Jesus, kids, life | 2 Comments

Marriage Legacy

It has occurred to me a few times that Julie and I come from a tremendous legacy of long marriages.

Both of my sets of grandparents celebrated 55 years of marriage before my grandfathers passed away. Until last week, all four of Julie’s grandparents were still living…and both sets were approaching 65 years of marriage. My parents…nearly 21 years before my dad passed away when I was 12. Julie’s parents…more than 35 years and going strong. Julie and I will hit 13 years in August. We are in really good company…and proof that marriage not only CAN work…it can work well.

Not all of those 300+ years of marriage were easy ones. Just speaking from my own experience, somewhere around years 7-9 were tough for Julie and I…mainly as a result of me working through some anger issues in my life. But during those rough times, Julie and I never considered bailing on the marriage. Our commitment to each other from the beginning was that our marriage is for life. That is the way that God designed it…I’m not going to argue with him about it. I committed that as long as Julie and I were alive, we are together. That commitment was to her, but more importantly, that commitment was made to God at our wedding. He is the one who prepared each of us for the other.

And what we have seen is that our relationship with each other just continues to grow stronger. The rough times have actually helped our relationship to deepen. No doubt that the rough times were not fun…they definitely were not. But without the conflict, our relationship would not be as strong as it is.

July 7, 2008 Posted by | life, relationships | | Leave a comment


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