Be the Grace
Her little giggle, her feisty spirit and her love for her family—these are the things I remember most about my grandma. Although her last months were filled with pain, suffering and sickness, her love and grace is still what remains strongest in my memories of her. My grandmother, Lyle Genung, was an advocate for strong families, strong communities and strong faith. Throughout her battle with breast cancer she remained loving and soft, she remained committed to her faith, she remained …herself.
She left a legacy of love and grace for her family and I can only pray I will do the same for my children and grandchildren. She raised two boys and a little girl—just like I am today.
Her last story is one I will never forget and one that I share as much as possible:
As she lay there in the hospice room, she had a smile on her face. The kind staff always checking in on her had asked why she was smiling and giggling. “The angels. They are so beautiful.” She said pointing to the doorway. The staff looked in that direction and saw nothing, yet my grandmother was able to see them and be comforted by them. Not soon after she died but in a calm and gentle manner. She was calm because she knew who she was about to see and where she was about to go.
Any person, no matter how faithful, fears death to some extent – it is just human nature. But she KNEW exactly what was happening, what lay ahead and she was ready. She had grace.
She always found the silver lining in a situation. She always took the time to smell the roses and then could write an entire letter to me describing them and the beautiful weather that accompanied them. She taught me how to play Chinese Checkers like a champ too. She was a one of a kind and I am so blessed to have had the chance to know her, love her, and be able to pass along stories of her to my kids.
So, no matter if you had a strong influence of grace in YOUR life, be sure to become that influence of grace for others. You just never know what kind of impact you’ll leave behind.
In Loving Memory of Lyle Genung
Written by Jenny Gillespie