I suppose this is a strictly personal event, but as beautiful things deserve be shared, I would like to provide a glimpse of what this woman was like, in a photo of her and me taken 18 months ago.
That picture shows Grandma Ev's authentic, habitual brightness of expression. It shone brightly even on days when the mortal machinery was breaking down. "Don't ever get old", she'd say then, with a gentle smile. In her life, hardship was met with integrity and grace, and deep-set habits of peacemaking and service were always at work building up what had been torn down. Her family and friends found her to be an earnest and perceptive encourager, ready to celebrate any of our well-doings.
As her systems slowed to a halt, she remained the woman she has been for 90-odd years, the woman who gave me some of my first lessons in kindness. Those at her bedside say that as breath for speech became scarce, she continued to bless her family with assurances of love, with smiles, kisses, and mouthed words of comfort.
Ev's signature motto, given as an answer to "how are you doing?" has long been a cheerful "I'm Happy on the Way", meaning specifically the way of Jesus. Grandma, your way has been a gift to many, and has brought you to earthly completion with the honor of family and friends. May such happiness be in our way also. Thanks for an example worth following.