Early this morning my Grandma Lorraine died. Above is my favorite photo of her from recent years. This woman was full of faith, pride, and dignity. She taught me a lot as I watched her over the years. The biggest thing I learned from watching her was acceptance. She had to accept so many things over the course of her life-- changes that she never could have anticipated and changes that she did not necessarily agree with. But, to me, it seemed that the key for her was this: when she searched deep in her faith, then she found it in herself to accept. This was not easy for her. This is not easy for any of us. But she did it. And she did it with dignity. I learned from watching her with that. One example out of many is, of course, her acceptance of her brown-skinned great-grandsons. Imagine how far from her reality it would have been to consider the possibility that she'd be great-grandmother to two black boys born in Haiti. Well, she lived it. She accepted with faith and love. And she came to love those boys and find great joy and beauty in all that they are. She told me many times of how much she marveled at, and appreciated, what Braydon and I had done in adopting Kyle and Owen. And for that, for so many reasons, I will always be grateful. And really, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Grandma Lorraine lived a long, full, and rich life. The thing that stands out to me most of all was her life-long love-affair with my Grandpa Les. Another lesson learned from watching over the years: that it is possible to live out a life-long marriage of commitment and devotion. Again, from what I could see, they did it by rooting it in their faith. They were believers. And they never gave up. Through thick and thin, through sickness and through health, in richer and in poorer, they stuck it out. The most beautiful part of all (at least to those of us watching from the outside looking in) was that these two truly were in love with each other as soul-mates and best friends. I hope that Braydon and I can follow in their footsteps. I feel grateful to have been able to witness first-hand my grandparents' version of a steadfast marriage. In the past two weeks, as Grandma Lorraine began to slip away, my heart breaks for my grandfather. For as long as their lives have been, and as much as they anticipated that the end was near, it still makes me cry just to think of how he must be hurting in seeing her go. I hope, for his heart's sake, that he will be able to be with her relatively soon. I'm sure each day until then will feel like an eternity to him. On the other hand, everything is relative. This morning when I told Kyle that Grandma Lorraine had died, the very first thing he said was, "We will die and be with her again soon." At first I was taken aback because I worried that he was implying that "we" (or he?) would be dying soon... but then he immediately continued, "Don't worry Mommy, we're going to live a long, long life and then we'll be in Heaven with your grandmother." What a deep believer my boy is. I like to think he got that at least partly from his grandparents and great-grandparents. I come from a long line of deep, faithful, life-long believers. And at times like these, I am ever-so-glad for that.