Madeleine L’Engle passed away earlier today. Her books made a profound impact on my views of good and evil and our ability to do something about them. She believed deeply that there was purpose in our existence and that every individual — no matter how small and seemingly insignificant — can work in favor of good.
She was 88 years old. If my grandmother were still living she would have turned 92 this year. She passed away in January 2003 and I hope that she and Ms. L’Engle have had a chance to meet one another. They would be able to discuss faith and God’s work in our life. I would love to hear the conversations they would have about art, music, science, and the development of humanity.
Although my grandmother lived her entire life in small towns in West Tennessee and Ms. L’Engle lived most of her life in New York City, I always believed that they would have enjoyed one another’s company. Now they’ll have the chance to do that.
I wish I had a digital picture of my grandmother but I don’t. I do have this, though. It’s her Bible rubberbanded to her daily devotional book, “Power for Today.” It’s almost as beautiful as she was.
Thanks to my sister I also have this wonderful picture of Grandmother’s grave marker with only her name and birth date. I agree with Sheila — this is much closer to reality since our lives don’t actually end, but continue in another way and place.
This is what Sheila penned about Grandmother in January:
Grandmother was a rare woman. I suppose lots of people say that about their grandmothers. But other people say it about mine, so I know it isn’t only my bias, though that would be enough for me. She was beautiful, intelligent, down-to-earth, hospitable. She was a traveler, a lover of music, a loyal friend, an incredible cook, a lover of birds and gardening. She was a survivor and one who helped others through hard times.
If your grandmother or another favorite older woman is still living, please don’t underestimate their presence. More than anything I wish I could have one more day with my Grandmother. I know that we will have eternity together and I thank God for that, but the daily missing of her is sometimes still hard to bear.