Thursday, May 26, 2011

Unexpected Peace

Brent called me on Tuesday afternoon and told me that Grammy (his paternal grandmother and only living grandparent) had taken a sudden, bad turn, and that she may only live another couple of days. He left work early and went to the nursing home to be with her and his parents. I waited until the kids woke up and they stayed with Aunt Ginger while I went to the nursing home. I started preparing Samantha for my being gone for a few hours, and told her that Grammy is very sick and will be going to heaven soon. I said that she and Jacob would stay with Aunt Ginger while I am at Grammy's house. She was completely fine with everything. I took the kids over to Ginger and told her that I had talked to Samantha about what is going one. As we were talking, with Samantha right beside us, Ginger looked over and said "Grammy needs..." and before she could finish the sentence with "her family around her," Samantha inserted " go to heaven." I smiled and told Samantha that she is right, and that Grammy will be happy and will not be sick as soon as she is in heaven with Jesus. My sweet 3 year old daughter gave me an unexpected moment of peace.

By the time I got to the nursing home, only Brent and his mom were there because his dad had to go get some work done. Brent left to go to Waco after I had been there for a while and his mom and I sat quietly some and we talked some. We held Grammy's hands when she woke up, and Mom called the nurse when she seemed to be in pain. I left at 6:45 to go home and put the kids to bed. I was grateful for the time I could be there. And I am grateful for my mother-in-law, who has such a caring heart, and who takes care of what and who needs to be taken care of all the time.

On Wednesday, Brent went straight to the nursing home from work. The kids and I met him in town for dinner and then they and I went on to church while Brent went back to the nursing home. After church, Brent took the kids home and I stayed at the nursing home. I had planned to stay quite late, but Dad convinced me that it was not neccessary, that the nurses would be in to check on Grammy very regularly and that they could give her pain medicine as often as once per hour if need be. I still stayed for a while, though. She was sleeping so peacefully, unlike the day before. I worked on my quilting, I sang songs to Grammy, and I sat quietly watching her. It was a time of unexpected peace and blessing for me in the midst of heartache and grief.

On Thursday afternoon I took the kids to the nursing home to visit a little. When we arrived, the rest of the family told me that Grammy's condition had progressed and that she was not expected to live through the day. There were quite a few family members there, so with the crowded area and the kids having been cooped up for a while, it was time for them to go home. I told Staci that she could stay and I would take the kids to my house, but that first I wanted to take Samantha in to see Grammy.

Every time we have visited Grammy in the past, we have asked Samantha to sing to Grammy. But she never would. I asked again as we sat beside Grammy's bed, and Samantha said no. I told her that I would sing with her, but she still said no as she nervously looked at the other people in the room. I told her that this will be her last chance to sing to Grammy, because she will be in heaven very soon...and she said yes. She sang "Jesus Loves Me" and "Sweet Sweet Spirit" I sort of sang with her as tears rolled down my face. Then she gave Grammy a kiss and we said goodbye. It was bittersweet moment. It was also a moment of peace.

This watching and waiting really stinks. We know that the end of Grammy's life on earth is coming. We know that it will be fairly soon but we don't know when. Each day we wake up in the morning wondering if Grammy is still alive, wondering if today is the day. This is hard! I am grateful that in the middle of the waiting, of the uncertain grieving, that we have these moments of peace.