Say what you will, but I think social media is a wonderful thing indeed. It's today's Global Neighborhood.
Growing up, I was the 9th grandchild on my Dad's side, the first girl in the Lanting family for something like a hundred years. You can only imagine how excited my Grandmother was to finally have a little doll baby to dress up and put lace, ruffles, and bows on.
Sadly, just a few days before I was born, my Grandfather had a heart attack and almost died. It wasn't looking good, so my Grandma did what she knew she should. She called the elders of her church to come and pray for Grandpa to be healed. Her church didn't come. They didn't believe in healing or something like that, so Grandma asked my parents if the elders of their church would come and pray that he wouldn't die, but live. They came and prayed for him, and he lived another 10 years.
I am so grateful that I got to know my Grandpa. He was a peaceful and gentle man, full of compassion and caring. My Grandma spent the next 10 years caring for him, as his health was never the same. I remember her giving and giving to him and everyone else around her and never once complaining.
I spent lots of time with my Grandma, and we were very, very close. She died about a year after Whitney was born, and I am so glad she got to meet at least two of my kids.
Back to social media being a Global Neighborhood...
The stories my Grandma, Grandpa, Dad, and Uncles tell us all about the neighborhood they lived in near Chicago called Roseland, are filled with hilarious tales of wonderful characters, woven with lots of love. Everyone disciplined everyone else’s kids, ate meals together, went to church together. No one was alone and everyone was loved. My Grandma used to drag me to "Roseland Reunions" for years. It drove me nuts, but I was always amazed at how these people treated each other like family even though they weren’t.
My Dad made some connections with some of these old "family members" through Facebook a few weeks ago, and one of them dug up this old photo of my Grandparents none of us has ever seen. Seeing this photo is like finding buried treasure for me. I love how happy and healthy my Grandparents look. It is how I picture them now that they are in Heaven together. My Grandma missed my Grandpa so much after he died. She told me all the time how glad she was that she would see him "soon". I can't wait to see them someday soon. The hope we have for Heaven is a very good thing indeed.