On Monday, February 6, at 8:50 A.M., my grandmother went to heaven.
I didn't get to see her much, but I remember her as very generous. She always gave Christmas presents to all 16 of her grandchildren, always had little toys from McDonald's happy meals when we came to visit her. When she heard I was saving up for a laptop, she went and bought me a purple HP Pavilion. I've had it for five and a half years now, still works great. I've written 325,000 word's-worth of books and most of my blog posts on it.
All her life, Grandma was Catholic. She was born Catholic, raised Catholic, and I'm still not sure how Dad managed to get out of the Catholic church. But he did, and I'm glad. The Bible's pretty clear that it's God's grace that saves us, not the prayers we say or the money we give or the good things we do. So now that I know this, how do I convince my family? Not only do they live a thousand miles away from us, they're also stubborn Italian-Greeks. Have you seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding? It's accurate.
Turns out, it wasn't my job to change my family. It was God's job, and He was willing and ready to use whomever He saw fit. He used my dad to minister to my Uncle Jim. Uncle Jim, in turn, is taking my Aunt Marie to church. My grandma? God sent her a man named Tyrone, who worked as a cook at her assisted living place. He loved her like his biological mother and even called her "Mama." He visited her in the hospital and prayed the prayer of salvation with her. I thank God for him.
I'm not nearly ready to go to heaven. I've got too many books to write, too many tickle-fights to have with my sister and a future family to love. But when I do get to heaven, I know that Grandma will be waiting there for me. She won't need oxygen or insulin injections, and she'll have all her short-term memory back. And that's why I'm not sad! I'm not saying that I won't grieve or cry at her funeral. I'm not saying I won't miss her. But she's in heaven now, with the God she's served since she was a little girl, and that's a reason to rejoice.
If you're reading this, please say a quick prayer for my family. There's a lot of details to work out and stubborn people to work with. My parents are running off Jesus and half the sleep they need, and my sister and I still have school to do. Thank you, dear reader, and God bless you.
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.