Wednesday, March 12, 2008
A Tribute to Grandma Helfinstine
Jeannette Grace Lang Helfinstine
October 16, 1925 - March 5, 2008
Grandma is home with Jesus now. I was able to spend time with her at Christmas and visit her in the nursing home (where this picture was taken). I was thankful she still recognized me at that time. She had been deteriorating in health for the last couple of years (cancer, strokes, etc.), but the last few months were especially hard on the family as dymensia set in and she really had a hard time knowing where she was or recognizing anyone. She pretty much stopped eating, too. So we are thankful we don't have to worry about her health any more; she is much better off in her glorified body now! One of her last phrases was "I have a new home," and we are so glad she does.
At her funeral on Monday her children shared some memories of her, many of which I didn't know. She was a great mom. And a good cook! My memories of Grandma include traveling to Minnesota at Christmas and during the summer. I would help Grandma set the table or do the dishes. (We loved having a special treat of Jello-Pops!) We enjoyed talking about books we were reading, because Grandma really encouraged my love for reading. She and I were kindred spirits in a lot of ways, I think. One time I remember I needed to help Grandma with some chores at her house, and I wanted to wait until some other family members had left to run an errand (or something). She told me that she was like that too--she preferred to get work down around the house when it was quiet. That made me feel especially close to Grandma. She loved to listen to Christian radio around the house--the love of which she passed down to my mother and me, too! Grandma's love for the Lord was a real testimony to me and has continued to pass down to future generations, as all of her 4 children and 9 grandchildren are walking with the Lord now. She was a prayer warrior! One of my earliest memories of Grandma was when she and Grandpa were visiting us in Michigan, and mom and Grandma were doing dishes while I was folding clothes in the living room. Apparently I was singing, because I overheard Grandma tell Mom that it sounded like I would have a nice soprano voice when I got older. I still remember being pleased that Grandma thought that. She has always loved music and encouraged us to love music, and to love the Lord.
We will miss not having her around, but we are thankful she is enjoying the presence of the Lord. She was 82 years old, and she and Grandpa had been married for 57 years! Things will be different in our family now, but we are thankful we will see Grandma again someday!