You Can’t Hug Pictures

I miss her some kind of terrible. I could selfishly say that I miss her carrot cake, her chicken and rice, or her homemade sugar biscuits (definitely the sugar biscuits), but truthfully, I miss her unshakable confidence in her convictions.

We used to joke that Grandma Ham could stare at a menu for ten minutes without making a decision on what to eat, but when it came to her faith, she knew exactly what she wanted: intimacy with the Father.

And that was the firm foundation that she built her life upon—her Rock. And because of that, her life radiated stability and assurance in spite of the storms. Whenever the winds of doubt began to blow, she would always respond with courageous faith.

Her tattered Bible looked more like a weapon used in battle than an idle bookend, and I loved that about her. To her, the Bible was a weapon—it was her sword. She used it daily to pierce the armor of the Enemy and his barrage of fear-laced lies.

She used it when her husband, my grandfather, committed suicide after a disheartening battle with cancer. She used it when her twin sister succumbed to the same, awful illness. But perhaps the most beautiful example was during her own battle with that dreaded disease.

Before her chemotherapy treatments, she would read her Bible. It gave her the life-sustaining strength she needed to prevail. Then, she would sit for hours as her treatment dripped drugs into her bloodstream in an effort to slow her spreading disease.

Despite the discomfort, she smiled and faced her sickness with certainty because, no matter the outcome, her eternity was sealed. She would be with the Father.

Her balding head stayed covered with a night cap, but we would occasionally catch her rubbing her “peach fuzz”. The room would burst into laughter as we insisted that she “cover that thing up”.

Oh how I miss that time—sweet, precious time.

What I wouldn’t give to go back, just to be able to see her sitting in her recliner, flipping between the Weather Channel and Andy Griffith reruns, the smell of something sweet lingering in the air. We wouldn’t even have to speak, just knowing that she was there would be such blessed assurance.

But it’s been three years now. Three years since she asked that we place our boys with her in her recliner, on Mother’s Day, to get one last picture. She knew it was time. Less than a week later, she went Home.

It is a picture I will treasure forever.

Grandma Ham and the boys

Grandma Ham and the boys

As much as I love the picture above, I can’t give it a hug.

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I’m reminded that while pictures should be treasured, we need to treasure those that we have the opportunity to be with, today. We need to kiss our mothers, our wives, and the women who have selflessly cared for us. We need to tell them that we love them and slow down long enough to enjoy the simple pleasures.

Because some day, all we will have are pictures and memories of sugar biscuits, and while we will almost be able to savor them, they will never be as sweet as the real thing.

As for those who have gone before us, may their memory be a warm ray upon our face–may they shine down upon us and give us strength.

That’s how I will remember Grandma Ham. And somewhere within, in a place connecting me to my Creator, I can feel her presence.

She encourages me to love the Lord with sword-wielding faith, laugh in the midst of the storms, and rest in the confidence of an eternal inheritance.


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About the Author

headshot-footerMatt Ham is primarily a husband and father to three boys. As an author and speaker, he is dedicated to guiding others toward living a rich life. Through his RICH Principles he helps folks uncover fullness, identifying real treasure and discovering true joy and contentment in both their professional and personal lives.

His first book, Redefine Rich, is a journey of uncovering a deeper, more fulfilling life by shifting your perspective. It is available in both Kindle and paperback on Amazon: here

You can order a limited hardback version of the book at

To contact Matt, visit

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