coffee with grandma

by Kristen

I stopped after work to have coffee with Grandma.

It’s been more than a year since she last drank a cup, but I doubt she minds. Whatever the heavenly brew is, it must be better than any she ever savored here.

My head knows I’m no closer to Grandma at the cemetery than anywhere else. My heart knows I’m not here out of obligation or even to grieve.

But it’s here—in the open space, in the relative still and relative quiet—I breathe a little easier. It’s here as I pray aloud through Psalms 16 and 116 that I feel God’s gracious hand of peace not removing the grief but holding it with me.

Here, I can simply be.

I sit still and allow the internal noise to quiet in the simple proximity to that eternal line—here a finishing line, there a starting line.

Here, I remember all the stuff—the work stresses, the tragedies layered over the atrocities, the nagging irritants of daily life—is real but it is tertiary at best. Relationships, with God and people, outweigh all else.

The late afternoon shadows spread but don’t quite make it to Grandma’s headstone or the sunflowers Mom left this morning. A mourning dove settles on a distant branch.

Even in a cemetery, life goes on.

A lone tear lands on the Bible resting in my lap. My coffee cup sits empty beside me. I unfold my legs, trace the dates on Grandma’s headstone and let my gaze linger for a minute longer on the psalmist’s words: “in your presence there is fullness of joy.”

A year into this newness it doesn’t feel normal yet—not at all—but the joy pulsing through the sorrow is full indeed.


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