When I was in the Philippines two years ago, I tucked my grandma into bed one last time. She was completely peaceful, allowing me to have an easy time helping her lie down and pulling a thin blanket over her. I left the room aware of the strong possibility that it would be the last time I’d see her that full of life.
This weekend, I was able to spend time with her body and serve as a pallbearer, an interesting parallel to my last visit. It was a sad role, absolutely, but it totally confirmed the fact that the Lola I knew no longer occupied the physical body she lived in for almost a century.
Instead, I could vividly imagine the Lola I knew thanking God for giving her such a good physical body. One that lasted such a long time. It allowed her to be with her family for such a long time. I can hear her grateful for a body with enough endurance to see all of her grandchildren reach adulthood, to see them outnumbered by grandchildren. For hands that bathed so many kids and cooked them all many meals. For feet that traveled the earth. For a voice that continued to get sweeter with age.
Our bodies are shells and vehicles for us to use to I’ve fully and love people. Lola did that so well.