Saturday, September 21, 2013

Honoring My Nana and the Goodness of God

Last Sunday morning, September 15th, 2013, Nana left us to be made whole and perfect in joy filled eternity with our Papa God.Her leaving was quick. It keeps playing through in my mind as my brain and heart try to meet on middle ground.

I did stay up at the house like I thought I would those last few days and my mom, cousin and me tag teamed in round the clock care. Actually, the first night I planned to stay, my mom sent me home. She said it wasn't time. And she was right. I confess I was hurt. It wasn't a rejected hurt. It was only that I was worried about her being alone. I remember the raw mix of emotions I had with Daddy. But God taught me that as much as I know He supplies for my need when the time comes.....He supplies for her need as well. I mean, I knew that. But I wasn't applying that.

(I feel the need to write about Nana's last moments here for my own memories. To me it is honoring and beautiful. But if it makes you uncomfortable in any way, please skip this next paragraph.)

Those last few days are precious to me. Family came and went in waves. We cooked, shared the time, talked stories and hugged on one another as we let time stop in ways we don't normally allow for. Then that morning all was quiet. It was just Mom and me on the floor and it was my turn to rest. Suddenly my mom announced "It is time. It is going to happen now." We got on each side and loved on Nana. As her eyes slowly opened and closed we talked to her about what she was seeing and what she would see. We talked to her about the beauty of God and the joys of heaven, of her parents, brothers, sisters and husband waiting in expectation for her. Mom cradled her mom gently in her arms and said, "Mama don't be scared. You are never alone. When you see Jesus you run to him. You run Mama and you will be just fine." Then Nana's eyes shifted a little as she looked beyond us and we saw.......I swear we saw Jesus in her eyes. That was it. She was gone.  What an honor to be able to witness that. To see that change and know that peace. To watch my mom smile as she held her mom in quiet peace afterwards and praised God for His perfect timing, Praised Him for rescuing her mama from sorrow and redeeming into joy. No pain, no arthritis, no bothersome ankle screws, no diabetes, no swirling memories of heart ache and times gone by. She is now in eternal bliss with Father God.  The gentleman that came from the funeral home was wonderful. He patiently waited in the background with no pressure while we all said one last goodbye. Then he gently placed Nana on her travel bed and covered her with a beautiful blue quilt (her favorite color). He brought her out to the living room where we could all circle around in prayer as we let her go. It was a precious time to share. If I could just sit in that time frame for a while longer it would be so peaceful. But instead I will etch it in my mind and move on because God appoints each moment of our lives for importance.

 These are precious pictures to me. They are from our Pippin's wedding in May.
Often Nana didn't like having her picture taken. But that day she was full of smiles.

The memorial is scheduled for this coming Thursday the 26th. All of the details are falling into place and I am grateful God had me work on much of it before hand. I am grateful for all of the help coming along side us. Friends are stepping in to help with tasks and offer encouragement as we take in pausing breaths. I am especially grateful for our funeral home. They have been so honoring and ready any time of day for my questions and emails. I cannot stress enough that for anyone living remotely close to us.....if you ever need arrangements made, use Cornerstone. Their kindness and compassion made my family cry in relief. They blessed us with their sympathy and grace as they guided us in the whole tearful process. Their family philosophy, professionalism combined with not a single ounce of salesmenship and their compassion is how we should all be treated.

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts.
I pray for your peace, for your encouragement today to be rooted in the grasp of God's grace in all you do.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

More Hospice.....

It is funny. I have been up for a couple of hours and don't feel anymore clear headed than when I first opened my eyes. I wanted to do an update post today but I am not sure my thoughts are clear in any way. I did do a quick post here last night.....not that it is any more concise but it may add perspectives that are absent at this very moment. :-)

Hospice has confirmed that Nana is in her last days here on earth before standing whole with Papa God in His amazing joy and peace filled glory eternity. My family has now all accepted this season and that is a huge blessing. Acceptance makes the raw emotion so much easier to bear.

As I sit with Nana, as I watch and help my mom.....I have had triggers back to taking care of Daddy. I remind myself it is natural and I add my new experiences to my old ones. In an odd and unexplained way it strengthens me.

Beginning tonight, I will probably start spending nights at the house so that my parents are not alone.
My house has many things left undone but they are all superficial and not important right now. They actually make me giggle. You should see my house tight now. We recently started painting the outside. My husband has been working so hard on it in this heat wave we are having. My job is to do all the trim work because I am the detail person. With my detail focus on my family.......the paint on my house is 5 different colors at this moment. There is the old yellow and white, the new green and brown and the unpainted new wood color. Every angle of my home is a surprise to the eye. That ought to make anyone smile. :-)

God bless you today in His rich mercy, grace and peace.