My grandma passed away in July. It's those little things that remind me of her- the cute little filipino lady in front of me in line at the store. anything resembling a lumpia (if you have no idea what i'm referring to, you NEED to let me make you some). adding way too much sugar to my coffee. she was a fabulous woman and i love her and miss her dearly.

The morning of her memorial service I got pulled over for the first time EVER. i cried. shamelessly. that, plus the photo board resting in my back seat and my black dress got me an "ok, well just try and slow it down a little ma'am." I have my grandma to thank for getting me out of my first potential ticket. awesome.

anyway, i was oh-so-nervous about speaking that morning. but i did. and i'm glad. i've been wanting to share what I said at that funeral. so here goes:

{this will be the condensed, possibly re-worded version because all I have to go off of are my notes and memory- and we all know both of those are a mess}

There are so many things I feel like I could say today. Even if I tried, I doubt my simple words could cover it all. But I'll do my best today to share just a little piece of Africa Ayson Herzer with you.

Clearly, she was a beautiful woman. I can remember being a little girl, admiring her jewelry, perfume and make-up. She was always telling me how pretty I was- things that are important for a little girl to hear. I recall one time, we were at her favorite 5 for $10 t-shirt store. I was maybe 13. and thouroughly uninterested in $2 t-shirts. But my grandma, of course showed me how I could tie my t-shirt so it was "sexy". I'm not sure if you've ever gotten tips from your grandma on how to be sexy, but if you haven't, you're missing out.

She was always full of love and generosity. Anyone who has ever met her can attest to that. When I was born, she quit her job so she could care for me. And ever since I can remember, there has not been a single visit to my grandma's house where I left empty-handed. She was always giving me SOMETHING.

And of course, she was a fun grandma who broke the rules :) When mom and dad said "no more bottle", who was there to give me my bottle fix? grandma. who gave me coffee with tons of cream and sugar at age 3? grandma. who always took me shopping and let me buy the stuff mom and dad said no to? um, grandma. duh. she rocked.

If you ever stepped foot in her house, you knew about her cooking. Her food was amazing, and that word doesn't even seem to cover it. I have always been a fan, possibly a little too much of a fan, considering at age 14 my grandma so lovingly exclaimed, "Lindsey! Stop eating so much. You're going to get fat and no one will marry you!" Now, at age 23, I am unmarried, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't have anything to do with my overeating...i think.

The last time her and I got to spend time together was over Mother's Day weekend of this year. Her health was dwindling and, in all honesty, she had no idea who I was. My mom and I thought it would be a good idea to cook some filipino food with her. I had always meant to sit down and learn those recipes I had grown up feasting upon, and that day, was as good a time as ever. Even though she couldn't actively participate (and possibly had no idea what was going on), it was nice to get her out of the nursing home. Every so often, you could see a flicker of recognition in her eyes and I knew she knew what was going on- we were cooking up some dee-lish food- her favorite pastime!

Finally, after all the filling and rolling, we cook up some lumpia, and get ready to taste that mouth-watering deliciousness that is a lumpia. I take a bite. hmmm. I take another bite. "mom, i think something's missing. it just doesn't taste quite like grandma's" after racking our brains- we come up with the answer- So, despite the fact we probably should have known better, mom and I decided to leave out most of the MSG my grandma so heavy-handedly added to all her dishes. Clearly, what we didn't realize is that it was that key ingredient that made those lumpia.

(she obviously knows we left out the MSG- look how unamused she is!)

So here's my point: yes, my grandma was beautiful, loving, fun and a fabulous cook but her key ingredient was her faith in Jesus Christ. Without that, her life would've fallen flat. It wouldn't have had the same flavor. It just wouldn't have been the same.

Romans 8:38-39 says:
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our worries for today nor our worries about tomorrow- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below. Indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Death is one of those times when we stop and think. We think about what's most important in our  lives. I fully believe that we all have a God-shaped hole in our hearts. Some choose to fill it (unsuccessfully) with other things, and some, like Grandma, fill it with the love only God can give. And because of that, I know she is eternally in heaven.

Today, in honor of my grandma's beautiful life, I pray that you would sit still for a moment and consider God's love. Consider what really matters. What's your key ingredient?


  1. shirley girl on November 25, 2009 at 9:59 AM

    uhhggggg....i just put my make-up on.....not the first thing i expected to read on fb.....ty lindsey, i love you!!!

  2. gracemejin on November 25, 2009 at 11:04 AM

    what a beautiful story! grandmothers are so special and I am glad you have so many memories with yours. xoxox.


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