Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Now She Belongs to the Ages...Grace Eileen Colberg Hallsted

When Abe Lincoln died someone said, "He is gone but not forgotten now he belongs to the ages." "So it is with Grace," the minister said at her memorial service.

The chapel where the memorial service was held holds special significance to the family. Some graduated from their high school academy here, others married here and Aunt Grace and Uncle Walter were married here also. She had come full circle in her life that took her to many different places and also brought her home. It was so wonderful of Uncle Walter to bring her back home to live out her last years near her beloved children. I know this was the desire of her heart for many years. I'll always love Uncle Walt for that. What grandmother could want more than to live out her twilight years surrounded by her beautiful family, with a husband that was mindful of this great desire of hers. His work took them to Europe for three years on their honeymoon and these past four years she has been home. It was a final "Honeymoon" of sorts.

Top Row l to r: Chuck, Jan, David
Bottom Row l to r: Jake, Auntie Grace, Judy

The Chapel

The service was just beautiful with Chuck and Jake speaking and Chuck sharing his own thoughts and reading many tributes written about his mother by all the family and some close friends. Steve and I were both honored to be asked to contribute one.

Note that one of the songs sung was "Amazing Grace"
That song has an added meaning for me now!

Here is the tribute I wrote. I will add Steve's also with his permission.

My Aunt Grace was a very important person in my life. She was a mentor to me in many things. I loved watching her enjoy life with such enthusiasm, passion and vitality. Throughout my life she has always been available to listen and to share things with me. She was such a loving person and when Aunt Grace hugged you, you could feel the sincerity of that love. In that moment she made you feel so special to her. What a wonderful gift she had for uplifting everyone around her. I loved it when she would tell me about her childhood memories with my Dad and all the fun they had.

She was with us when our father died and it was so comforting to have her there. She was always so supportive but especially then. She just knew what to do and how to do it and she was a great comfort. Her faith was unwavering and through the trials in her life she remained grateful to God for her blessings.

Aunt Grace was such a family-oriented person. Whenever I talked with her she would, fill me in on all of her children and grandchildren, their successes and joys as well as their trials. None of my cousins will ever need to wonder if they were loved!

We followed her to just about every place she ever lived except Luxembourg and we loved visiting with her. She was so generous and giving and beautiful inside and out. Whenever I was with her I felt a connection to my grandparents and my Dad, like no other time. Now being with my cousins I feel a strong connection to our entire family. I realized today that a lot of my love for family came directly from her influence in my life. She left a beautiful legacy of love for us all. She will never be forgotten.

"I’m Steve Colberg the eldest son of Aunt Grace’s brother, Ross. She was one of the most joyous and loving beings I ever had the pleasure to know. She always greeted us with open arms and a big smile. Grace is such a fitting name for Aunt Grace because she was the most gracious of people. About 10 or 15 years ago, she and Walt were gracious enough to invite my family to stay with them in Redding for several days. We had a wonderful time swimming in their pool and catching up on family news. Grace cooked some tasty meals and we all had a great time. Aunt Grace and I found ourselves outside one hot summer night looking up at a sky full of stars. We talked for hours about the various stars and the amazing beauty of the night sky. She was delightful and her joy was contagious. To this day, I cannot go outside and look up at the night sky without thinking of Aunt Grace. Through the planets and stars we will always be connected, and for that I am most grateful."

I have been to a lot of funerals of older people and I noticed hers was different. Because she continued to be a vital, contributing person to all of us until the end, I feel the sorrow at her departure from this life was more keenly felt than most. You know how people always say that an older person "had good long life" and and then they seem resigned to their passing? I don't think it was that way with Grace....everyone wanted this lady to go on longer...much much longer. But now as the minister said...she and her memory belong to the ages...and to us as she lives on forever in our hearts. And she rests from all her labors until He comes again!

Grace's Favorite Scriptures:

John 3:16
Jeremiah 33:
I Peter 3:3, 4
Ephesians 4:32

She left a beautiful life history for her family. It is a hundred pages of pure pleasure & delight which I read on the way home. Her book is entitled:

"Our Ribbons of Time
Make our Rainbow of Life"

A few week ago I ran across this beautiful song...now it reminds me of Auntie Grace.
I want to be like her when I grow up!


Laura said...

She has such a beautiful, engaging smile. I am sorry for your loss. Sounds like such an amazing woman.

Bonnie said...

From my Cousin David

"Hi Bonnie,
What a beautiful job you did on our mom and family on your blog. She was a dear lady and now that she is gone, I regret not calling or seeing her more often. But the great hope we all share is we will see her soon!