Patricia Ann Mueller fell asleep in the Lord on January 8th of 2012.
There are many things I would like to say about this dear Saint, in particular about her love for people and for me. As I was looking back at old pictures I found one from my bridal shower where Jake and I are standing with Grandma and Grandpa Mueller. It is a sweet memory I have.
Living far away from home I wasn’t able to have a bridal shower with my side of the family, but Jake’s mom and sister put together a beautiful shower for me over our spring break. There were so many people there. 90% of whom I had never met before that day. Grandma and Grandpa Mueller have six children so… there are plenty of names to remember!
That day was sort of my initiation into Muellerhood, so to speak, and it is a small snapshot of the mixture of feelings one has as their identity shifts and they suddenly become family to dozens of people who were previously strangers. Isn’t marriage a wonderful thing? There is joy and fear, anticipation and hesitation. The melding of so many emotions at once can be described most simply as: overwhelming.
Although I dearly love all of Jake’s family, and everyone has made me feel welcome, Grandma Mueller had a way about her that simply oozed love and acceptance. As soon as you began to speak with her you knew – you were family. There was no transition period from the time I met Grandma and the time I felt like her granddaughter. It was an instantaneous bond, because Grandma Mueller had open arms for everyone; that’s just who she was.
And that’s who she is now.
I don’t want spend this post reminiscing about Grandma’s life here on Earth. Not just because I only met her a handful of times and know only bits and pieces of the great legacy she left behind, but because remembering her as she was is not what has dominated my thoughts these last several days. I could talk about how she raised six children who are now beautiful adults. I could praise her for the good works and the difficulties she overcame through her life. I could remember how excited she was about her great grandbabies and how she loved to hold Evie and watch her play. But I don’t want to focus on those things because those are not the things that have given me comfort this week.
It doesn’t give me comfort to think about who she was, because that life on Earth is now past. All we have of it is memories. What I do want to focus on is the life she has now, and her future which is so so bright. I want to imagine how wonderful it must have been for her last week when she met her Creator and Redeemer face to face, and for the first time saw her two children that she never did meet here on Earth. What a marvelous amount of catching up they must be enjoying right now. I would rather rejoice with her in her entrance into the Church Victorious, her freedom from the chains of sin and the reward she now has in Christ for finishing the race. This alone is grander and more glorious than any achievement she reached in this life.
Although my memories of Grandma and Evangeline are precious, I take more comfort in knowing that she will one day meet the child I am now carrying. Oh how I have wished my second baby would know her love, but it soothes the pain to know our children will grow up hearing all about Great Grandma Mueller and they too will be able to join Jake and I in anticipating that Great Day when we will meet again. She was so excited to hear we were expecting, and I know she will be equally excited to see our completed family on that Day.
Our memories and reminiscing are good to have, but our focus should be not on these things which have passed away; it should ultimately rest on the new life which is to come. The death of a beloved saint is a great blessing to those of us in Christ. Grandma is now with Jesus, and in order to be with Grandma we must be with Him – it is the only way to be with her now. Her death draws us closer to Christ and causes us to long even more for those heavenly things. For where your heart is there your treasure will be also. My heart is with Grandma… and with Christ.
For now I relish in Holy Communion, where we partake in that foretaste of the feast to come with ALL the saints in Heaven and on Earth. Sweet, mystic communion with our Lord and with those who have gone before. I will be with Grandma this morning and every Sunday. I look forward to meeting her when the time comes that I too can meet the One who has given me True Life. And I long for the greatest hope of all, the Resurrection of the dead and the new Creation we will enjoy together forever.
Grandma and I only had a few short times together, but we have many more to come. Eternity is a long time to make up for that which was lost here… and I can hardly wait. See you soon Grandma, and until then, enjoy your rest and your reward.
“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…”