Today Grandma Darais joined Grandpa Darais in heaven. We are so thankful for her influence in our lives. In the few short years I’ve known her, I’ve learned so much from Grandma Darais. She loved the Gospel with all of her heart, and as one of her grandsons said as we stood in the room, she loved to break the silence with, “I’m so glad I have a testimony of the gospel!” She would have said that if she could have, I am sure.
Christina joked that when Grandma meets Grandpa in heaven, she’ll say, “I”ve been dying to see you on your birthday!” Today is Grandpa Darais’ birthday, and Grandma Darais was his greatest love. Both Grandpa and Grandma Darais had a special fondness for puns, so I could almost picture that greeting. Whatever was communicated, we know it was joyful.
Here’s one story I learned that I hadn’t heard before. When Grandma and Grandpa Darais first married, they honeymooned near a beach. One day when they went to go sit on the beach, Grandpa wanted to sit up away from the water on dry sand. Grandma didn’t want to sit there because there were cigarette butts and other junk in the sand, plus she wanted to get her toes wet. Finally, she went down by herself to the water’s edge and sat there with her toes in the water and cried. Grandpa sat up on the dry sand laughing and took a picture of her crying. Then he took a selfie (waaaay before that was even a word) of him grinning by himself.
Now, their relationship is remembered by all as extremely loving on both sides, but this little newlywed snafu was a tidbit I thought was cute and worth recording. Abe was actually shocked when he heard the story because it isn’t reflective at all of their long-term relationship, but I think every little memory is worth capturing. Even the greatest marriages have some things to work out (especially at first), and it’s comforting to know that this truly successful couple also had to adjust.
Grandma Darais was an example not only of deep, life-changing faith, but cheerfulness, love, and kindness. She loved good jokes and puns. She came from a long line of break makers, and she ground her own wheat regularly to make delicious bread. She memorized poems and recited verses as apt situations arose. As I’ve been thinking about her, I keep coming back to the fact that she was a lover of all righteousness. She loved the light and good, and her influence was only that. All of her children and grandchildren had a deep, profound love for her, and she will be missed more than words can say.
My heart aches for her surviving children, especially one in particular. It was almost too painful to witness her endure the pain of losing her sweet mother, and she will be in my prayers a lot during this hard time.
They allowed us to bring in the children during the last half an hour of Grandma Darais’ life, but they started getting noisy during the family prayer, so I took them to the hall. Abe stayed and witnessed the passing of his beloved grandmother, and it was hard.
BUT. There really is a but. With a few exceptions, everyone there had a strong testimony that death is not the end, and we are so grateful that we know that. We’re grateful to know that families can be eternal, and in the cases of believers and disciples like Norma Darais, they will be. Her grandchildren impressed me so much as they bore their testimonies around her bed. We were all in tears, but the knowledge that God lives and loves us was truly comforting.
This day was a treasure that I will never forget. I am so thankful I have some of Grandma Darais’ stories written down, and I am thankful I even have videos of her telling them. I had no idea she was so close to the end when I made those. They are a treasure.
Reposting pictures from that special day:
We love you so much, Grandma.