On Monday, October 23, my grandmother passed away due to complications from a stroke. We celebrated her life throughout the week as our family gathered together. My grandmother, or “Mamasan” as we affectionately called her, was a strong force in our family. Like many matriarchs, she had this gravitational pull that affected her entire family. She kept us connected.
I could always count on updates concerning aunts, uncles, cousins, and other grandchildren. I haven’t seen many of my cousins in years. We all live in different cities. One cousin lives in Canada, needless to say we don’t see him very often. But Mamasan kept us connected. I knew what was happening in their lives and that was special. She never let us forget she loved us. She never let us forget we were loved.
Connections matter. Families cannot exist without the links of the heart. We may not always agree, but there is something deep inside all of us that longs for those deep, abiding connections.
After my Mamasan passed away, an email was sent out by Sandy Scaggs in the Bishop’s office. It was an email asking for prayers for our family. Within 24 hours, I had received over 50 emails from ministers and friends – some I knew personally, others I have only met in passing. Within 48 hours, the number of emails had almost doubled. In the time of a deep loss, I was reminded of a great connection that we all share as Christians, and especially as United Methodists.