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We celebrated 90 years of my beautiful grandma today.

It was lovely and lonely all at once because we lost my grandpa just one week ago and celebrating without him sitting next to Grandma at the table made all our hearts ache. She celebrated the last 70 birthdays by his side.

But it was lovely because marking her milestone matters. Heaping blessings upon her and wishing her joy in the coming year was just as important today as it would have been if Grandpa was still sitting next to her, holding her hand in the gentle way he always did.

He’d have wanted us to celebrate his bride’s big day.

So we gathered around the table and shared an angel food cake and talked about how much Grandpa loved raisin pie for his own birthday (and how we couldn’t ever understand why).

RELATED: The Memories We Make With Grandparents Are Priceless

I wanted to save a slice of cake for him because that’s what you do when someone misses the party. But truth be told, he’s enjoying something far better than any dessert I could come up with because he’s at home with Christ, and as hard as it was for us to see him go, I am comforted knowing he’s enjoying a much bigger, more glorious party than we could ever throw this side of heaven.

Mourning Grandpa and celebrating Grandma all within the span of seven days taught me again that life is awkward and amazing and fragile and precious and predictable in its unpredictability. We knew this day would come, but we never imagined it would play out like this exactly.

That’s the funny thing about life. Confidence and questions can coexist.

We don’t have all the answers our broken hearts demand, but we have confidence that Christ is the answer for them all.

Grandpa and Grandma knew this, and they always invited Jesus to be our guest as they sat us down around the dinner table, held our hands, and blessed the gifts set before us, fully confident that every blessing we enjoyed was a gift straight from Him.

RELATED: God Actually Does Give Us More Than We Can Handle

I’m sad, of course. But I’m sustained by the joy that’s found in things far more lasting than anything this world could offer, which is why I could celebrate Grandma with a smile. 

Originally published on the author’s Instagram page

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Rachel Maier

Rachel Maier is a gluten-free, allergy mom chasing Jesus and choosing joy in her upside-down kitchen. She blogs about food, faith, family, and food allergies at RachelMaierWrites.com

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