Thursday, November 14, 2013

Graduation Announcement: Lady Rocha

My maternal grandmother who we call Vó Dico has graduated. She went to be with the Lord today. She joins my grandfather who's been up there for a couple of years and my paternal grandmother who made it to heaven 6 weeks ago. 
My grandfather Vovô Tatão and my Vó Dico
Vó Dico was always funny to me, starting by how they named her. Apparently they were wondering what they were going to name her and someone saw some makeup somewhere with the name "Lady" on it and they thought: "wow, what a great name!" So my grandmother became the only Brazilian I know named "Lady" until my older sister was born of course.  
My grandma celebrated my birthday with me in 2006
 I loved so many things about my Vó Dico. I am thankful for her resilient spirit. She never had a title or a degree but for many years she led our church's congregation. She preached, taught Sunday school, organized the Women's group, encouraged the youth and children and kept that work going for years. She loved the Lord Jesus so much that she didn't need to get paid or have a title to serve him. What an amazing example to me! She just went where God led. The congregation was far away from our house and I think she sometimes slept in the church to save on the trip and the bus fare. 
The last time I saw my grandmother in person.
We talked often on the phone or Skype. Thank God for technology! When my son was born in 2009 we turned on Skype so my grandmother and my family in Brasil could see him. I will never forget her tears of joy. I felt so loved to see my grandmother's joy in seeing one of her great grandchildren being born. She also helped me guess the gender of my second daughter through her vast knowledge of old wive's tales. Oh, how we had fun. 
It's no secret that I am one of the biggest eaters of our family and feasting is what I did at her house. I enjoyed her Bobó de Camarão, her homemade coconut candy and pretty much anything else that she had in her pots. My siblings say that I almost bankrupted her candy business because I'd go to her house and eat most of it! 
I remember watching soap operas with my grandma. I remember at one point she had a dog that would sit and watch soap operas with us. That was remarkable. 
Our last conversations were fun filled. She was often giving me a recipe for something. I would either ask her how to make something or we'd end up talking about some food item and she'd say "that's easy to make, all you have to do is..." I loved her positive attitude. 
My grandmother had an incredible memory. She told me she was really good in solving math problems in her head and she loved reciting poems. I think that's probably how I got interested in reading poetry as a child. 
My grandmother's hands were always busy. She made the most beautiful crochet and cross-stitch pieces. I will lovely keep the ones she sent me as a gift.
My grandmother only gave me priceless gifts: her wisdom and godly advice. Her joy and transparency about life. I even appreciate her tears. She was never afraid to show her feelings. My grandmother had a million grandchildren (not literally but it felt like it) but she made us all feel so special and unique!
I have so many great memories of her and today, my solace and comfort lies in the fact that she is present with the Lord. 
Grandma, you crossed the river Jordan just like you wanted to. Not because of what you did but because of your decision to follow after God with all your heart, your soul and your understanding. I thank God for our relationship. Growing up knowing you was one of the best gifts I have ever received in life. It's hard to be hopeless about the hope you taught me by example. You always blessed me and these blessings have enriched my life and they always will. Thanks for singing to my kids on Skype. Thanks for being so funny and laughing with me. You lived a life worthy of your call in Christ Jesus and I am so thankful for that. 
I choose to believe that when my ancestors go to be with the Lord, I receive an mantle of the anointing they carried. I am so wealthy because of the legacy Vó Dico left. You see, it was never about how much money she didn't have but it was about how her exploding example for Christ will last. My little ones know her and we told them she went to play with Jesus and they were satisfied to hear that. I am satisfied with the fact that she is present with God. As His precious Word she taught me so well say:
"They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever." Revelation 22:4-5
You won Vó Dico. You won. Hallelujah! You won!

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