Sunday, October 20, 2013

We'll see you again!

"As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:6-8

As I read this verse this morning, I thought of my Queenie.  For those of you who knew Queenie, you know she lived her life for Jesus.  Whether it was singing to the "old people" at the nursing home or snuggling a baby tightly whispering, "Jesus loves you precious one".  There was never a conversation had where she didn't mention, "the Lord".  Queenie certainly fought the good fight as well.  She was a spitfire...hence she lived as long as she did.  She loved Jesus and passed on her love to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Now she is singing and dancing (with her new body) with Him.  HOW AWESOME!

Although I am soooooo very happy she is home, it's hard for those of us left behind.  The finality of death is broken with the promise of heaven but our human spirits remind us how far away that is at the present time.  For me, I choose to remember how wonderful Queenie was.  Remembering all the good times and memories that were made in the 33 years I have known her.  So I decided to write down those times....mostly for me, but I will share with you as well.

Cottage times:  Of course most of my memories of Queenie revolve around our cottage trips.  For those of you who don't know,  my grandparents built a cottage in 1958 in a very rural part of Canada.  At first it didn't even have plumbing but she brought her 5 boys up there each and every summer while my grandfather visited on the weekends.  So much of the cottage still has Queenie's hand print left there.  From the unique decorations, to her little garden dug by the lake, I see her and hear her each and every time I am there.  As a kid, I made the five and a half hour drive with them a number of times.  We would ALWAYS stop at Bill Grays in Watertown where Queenie and Papa would split a sandwich.  Papa would grumble about how expensive everything was and Queenie would tell him to shut up be quiet.  At the cottage, Queenie would sit in her blue recliner on the "davenport" while I sat on the blue shag rug singing Keith Green's, Holy, Holy, Holy with her. 
I saw God there.  Not only did Queenie teach me to marvel at His creation but she worshiped him, wholeheartedly.  What an awesome thing I was able to witness!  She let her light shine.  There are so many other memories the cottage holds...from swimming up and down the shore with Queenie, to wrestling a turkey on the kitchen counter at 9 am.  I am eternally grateful for the gift of time spent with her in the solitude of the woods.  If earth can be recreated in heaven, I KNOW Queenie is sitting in a chair at the cottage, singing her heart out to Jesus.
Christmas:  For those of you who knew Queenie, you know how she loved to shop.  Not necessarily for expensive things but just things.  Mostly for others and mostly for Christmas and birthdays.  If I recall correctly, my cousin even set up a facebook page dedicated to odd Queenie gifts!  Each and every year (up until about 6 years ago) we spent Christmas at the Smith house.  As a kid, we would pile into the basement (carrying Nana on a chair) and mass chaos would break loose as one child was selected to pass out these "Queenie" presents.  As they aged, we moved Christmas upstairs but the same chaos remained.  The gifts got stranger and the meals a little weirder but we spent the whole day with each other.  Queenie wanted us ALL together.  She created an atmosphere of love and laughter.  There are thousands of stories of odd gifts that we received but I will share just one.  The first Christmas Zach and I were married, there was a HUGE box with our names on it.  We eyed it up, wondering what was inside but waited until the very end to open it.  We were surprised to find a box full of canned goods.  Yes, I said canned goods...mostly from their cupboards and many expired.  We got a good laugh but appreciated their thoughtfulness of trying to feed the newlyweds. 

Candice will hate me for this but this awesome shirt was a queenie gift :)

So many other memories have been flooding my mind the past day.  From her smell (mostly roses on a good day) to playing pool in her basement.  Being locked in the "scarey" part of the basement by teasing cousins to the infamous"barf chair".  But the most important thing Queenie left behind was her love for Christ!  I know she is with Jesus right this very moment (hopefully not yelling at us to stop crying), with her new hips, shoulder, knees, and heart.  I love you Queenie and cannot wait until the day I can hug you again!  


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