Most of the family had said goodbye to Miss Lucy Mae. But. Tiffany, Drew, Aunt Liz, Auntie Tricia Mae, Papa and myself had one more opportunity. When I held Lucy Mae for the last time, I thought my heart would explode with sadness. As Nana, I was supposed to be dreaming, dancing, and laughing with my beloved little granddaughter instead of saying goodbye. My daughter stood by me with sorrow and strength, with her body recovering from a long labor and delivery, with a heart aching for her baby girl, and with a love so powerful that it could be felt within my own soul. I would do anything to change the story. Anything.
Miss Lucy Mae’s little body was fragile but perfect. I thought about how she started from one cell, invisible to us, yet, present. When she had grown into 16 cells she would have been big enough to fit on the top of a pin head. And. At birth in complete perfection, Lucy Mae was made up of about 75 trillion cells with each cell containing 3 trillion different DNA messages, denoting her individuality. Perfect transformation. Though it was thousands of years ago, the Psalmist captured the transforming miracle in beautiful words:
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb (Psalm 139: 13-15, NLT).
But. Seemingly too soon, Lucy Mae went through another transformation, leaving her little body, moving into a resurrected body as Christ did, which, one day, will also be ours to experience. The Message gives a description of our heaven-bound transformation:
For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. (2 Corinthians 5: 1-5, The Message).
God is systematic and orderly in the processes we go through to experience all of life, ultimately found in the vast, immense, dazzling place of heaven where there is fullness of life, love, and light. We only have to look to Jesus, to view him after resurrection to see what is to come. We are promised, that our inner being, what makes us be us, will not die but will live through the power of Christ
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11: 25-26, NIV).
And. I do know with certainty, that Lucy Mae’s inner person, the person she’s always been, changed heaven by entering in, making it brighter through the light God has put in her, living a life which we can only imagine. So. The name, Lucy Mae, is perfect:
Lucy means “light” or “light-bringer.”
Mae means star.
Lucy Mae has always and will always be a light shining in our lives like a star shining in the darkened skies of the night. Her mama, Tiffany, has had fascination with light and stars since she was a little girl. I remember when Tiffany, at age five, kept asking me to go outside after dinner; however, I impatiently declined, busy cleaning up the kitchen, preparing for our friends to come over for dessert.
The tyranny of the urgent had kept me away from what was most important, which is sharing the gift of time with one another.
But. True to form, Tiffany used her “skill” of persistance. So. I finally gave in and went outside with her. She insisted that we lay down on the lawn to watch the stars come out. And. We did.
We talked about how at least one star is born each day, wondering which star in the heavens above could possibly be the newborn.
I remember that night because I learned the valuable lesson to stop, look, and listen, to experience the moment, to do what’s important not what’s urgent, to be present for one another. Now, as the stars come out at night, I’m determined to take more time to watch the heavens, remembering our “star of light” is gracing the presence of heaven, only a thin dimension away.
Yet. Remembering Lucy is part of the light of heaven is a journey of raw emotions for those of us who are left behind, saying goodbye has been so hard, at times too hard, not because we don’t believe but because we were not ready. There was so much life here on earth we want to experience with her.
Papa had already been planning to build a girlie-girl-play-cottage for Miss Lucy and Miss Madelyn to have something special at our house where they could dress up and have tea-time together, just like their mamas’ did when they were growing up. He will still build it and paint the inside light pink, Lucy Mae’s color. We will put a star on the roof as one of many reminders of her place in our life.
We knew Miss Lucy and Miss Madelyn would be the best of friends like their mamas. It’s been so sweet to see Tricia beside Tiffany during these dark and sorrowful days. When Tricia read Tiffany’s words describing Lucy Mae at the Celebration of Life Service, my heart broke into a few more pieces for the pain they both are sharing. Yet. I know their love for one another will be a source of strength. Jesus talked about the importance of loving one another before He left for heaven:
Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. (John 13: 33-34, NLT).
And. Loving one another through the love of Christ produces undefinable joy in the suffering.
Love has been front and center these last few days. So many people have walked through the process with all of us. Some of Tiffany’s friends have been sisters too. . . including, Alison, Jenn, Monica, Beth, and Liz . . . helping and loving us in incredible ways. Liz, who just left for her home in Idaho, joined us as we said one last goodbye, her own heart breaking with ours.
No one wants to say goodbye so soon. But. We have had to do it. Just before we left, I held on to Lucy Mae, Tiffany, and Drew, thinking this is not what we had planned or ever thought would happen, realizing this journey is far from over, at times it will feel like a slow and hard walk, minute by minute. But. We hold on to the truth: God loves Lucy Mae . . . each one of us . . . and has a plan for us to experience life forever, a concept far beyond comprehension. One day, we too will step into heaven, a thin dimension away filled with life, love, and light, where Miss Lucy Mae is shining like a star.
More later . . . Kerrie