When I woke up this past Sunday morning, the day felt like most other Sundays where our family begins rushing around the house to get ready for church.
Then I received a phone call that brought things to a halt.
My family back in Maryland was informing me that my grandmother, Annetta Warner, would likely not live through the day.
We recently were told she may have a year to live and her health was failing but she had shown some signs of getting a little better.
Last Friday, I called there to celebrate with her over the phone when our favorite professional baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles, won game two of the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers.
Fortunately, my cousin Tina snapped a photo of the person we call “granny” watching her game.
She was the biggest Orioles fan I knew.
The Orioles play 162 games a season and I don’t think she missed many of them. She’d work on some crochet or stitch patterns during the games.
The only time you didn’t want to call her was if the O’s lost to the dreaded Yankees. I believe those were the only times that I ever knew her to be unhappy.
She had a brain aneurysm 38 years ago and many health problems since. But she rarely complained.
Instead she just filled any room she was in with laughter and love.
This past Sunday, when she could still speak, “granny” told family members in her room that she was ready to get her mansion. This is in reference to Christians receiving a mansion prepared for believers in heaven.
On our way to church, I received another phone call, giving me the opportunity to say goodbye to her over the phone.
I said to her “thank you granny, for being such a good example to me and my family.” I type this with lots of tears in my eyes.
My challenge is to everyone who reads…I pray that each person might have a family member like me to call you and to have them say the exact same thing to you over the phone. To say thank you for your example.
I also told her that I love her, that she was the best grandmother any boy could ever have, and reminded her that she is in God’s hands now and He’s going to take care of her.
At this time, she couldn’t verbalize any words but could make noises, as if to say in her own way, “I love you Ronnie.”
My mother Kay, who lives in Vandalia, joined her three siblings at my grandmother’s bedside.
While the family shed tears for most of the day, they remembered around 7 p.m. that her favorite team, the Orioles, were playing game three, an elimination game with the Tigers.
My cousins turned the game on in the bottom of the ninth inning. They saw the Tigers get a run in and made their own managerial decisions from their living room to walk the next batter to set up a double play ball.
They said “granny” would want the game to end on a double play. Well, that’s what happened as the Orioles clinched the victory at 7:26 p.m. (EST).
After watching about 30 minutes of local television coverage focused on the Orioles win, as the family lives in Baltimore, my cousins made sure they made enough celebratory noise for “granny” to hear in the other room.
At 8:08 p.m., “granny” went home to be with the Lord.
All day long she had what she wanted. “Granny” wanted to be with her family and to not be in pain. Throw in her favorite team winning a playoff series, and it was if that was the last thing she was waiting for.
Now “granny” has won the biggest World Series of them all. She’s rejoicing in heaven and giving praise to a God who blessed her with such a wonderful life.
I’ll see you later “granny.” It might be a while but I look forward to our reunion. I love you “granny!”…….