Sunday, August 2, 2015

Family

Yesterday, my family and I went to the mountains to celebrate my nephew's 7th birthday and we had so much fun!

Photo credit: My sister. :) I'm borrowing some of her pics.

God showed off yesterday with the weather. It was a sunny day and it almost felt like a fall day.

My brother-in-law bought us steak and my sister did all the grilling and cooking. We had so much food and it was delicious. She grilled steaks and corn on the cob, potatoes, peppers and onions, bread, baked beans, snacks, S'mores and birthday cake. That's usually a typical family spread. Lots of food. lol

My niece picked out a perfect spot and we all spread out our chairs and relaxed and just had a great day.


Sister's pics

Nephew and brother-in-law

All of us girls. Me, my sis, niece Meagan and "daughter", Georgia


Afterwards, we left the mountains and the traffic was insane. I think a billion people decided to leave at once. I love where we live but we have so many tourists. We were headed to play putt putt.

My nephew is hilarious. He told all of us, "you all are going down" The thing is, he was better than most of us.

Let me just say on behalf of the family, it was HOT. I mean, the sun beating down on us and I thought I was going to have a heat stroke. We all drank at least two bottles of water after we finished, but we had so much fun.

I'll title this picture, "The day my nephew took me down"


A few more pics:









Our brother. Good man.




A day of fun and relaxation and laughter and beautiful scenery and great food. A great family day.  Thank you, God.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Routines

One thing I have noticed after mom's passing is the exhaustion or fatigue.

It's really beginning to bother me. I'm so tired and I and my other family members son't feel like doing anything. I am tired of being tired.

I finally went to the store yesterday but I could have cared less.

I think we are trying to get back to some routine. For two and a half years we had the same routine with momma . She did things the same way every single day. Now, the days seem so long and the house is so quiet.

We really don't know what to do with our days.

It's been a week since mom passed away.

I know it will take time to grieve and rest after the intense week we had before mom passed away. It was around the clock care for her. None of us got much sleep.

I don't like feeling this way but I know it's a process that we all have to work through. So, I have decided when I am tired or sleepy, I take a nap. I told my family this all reminded me of a  Reba episode where Van can't play football anymore due to an injury and he doesn't know what to do next and he tells the family, "I just need to be lost for awhile". That's how I feel. For me that means, rest, pray and seek God's direction for what He wants us to do next.

I cry whenever I need to cry and I can say God is healing my heart from the deepest sadness I have ever felt.

My family and I are going to the mountains this weekend. We all need some fun. We are all looking forward to it.

I promise, I will write something more uplifting or encouraging soon. :)

In fact, my sister bought me a selfie stick and I am trying to learn how to use it. I plan on taking pictures this weekend while we are in the mountains. I'll share them next week.

I love this verse. God is so Good.



Have a wonderful and blessed day!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Gifts from God

There is something I forgot to share in my last post that I really needed to share but maybe this required a post by itself.

This will be my last post about Mom's hospice and home going but I really wanted to share this.

The day momma died started out as our typical day with mom. Her condition was the same as it had been all week but on this day it had rained all day. My sister, Donna and my brother Barry and friend Georgia and nephew Nicholas would all go into her room and sit around watching her and my sister and brother would give mom her pain meds.

At one point, I was sitting in the room alone and I picked up mom's Bible and read Psalm 23 to her.

Anyway, after sitting in her room  awhile, we would all come back into the living room or we would go sit on the porch. It was our routine.

My sister was sitting on the porch and I went out there to sit and watch it rain.  I was thinking it and my sister said, "it feels like God is crying".  That's exactly the way it felt.

We come back inside and check on momma and I look out the window and a red bird landed on the window sill and he was drenched. His little "mohawk" was pressed down from the rain and he was looking through the window. Mom loved red birds. I thought that was so sweet and a special moment from God.

We came out of her room again to cook dinner. It was a favorite meal that had mom cooked for many years.

Right after we all finished eating, which was six o'clock, we all noticed mom's breathing had changed for the worse. We all went back there and my sister checked on her and told us it wouldn't be long.

After a grueling two hours of watching mom and listening to her struggle to breathe, the hospice nurse told us that mom couldn't feel any pain ) right before mom passed away, which was at 8:15, the rain stopped and the sun came out and was shining so brightly on mom's face. Mom loved sunshine. It was unreal. She looked so beautiful. After that, she took her final breaths on this earth and her first breath in heaven.

What a special gift to all of us. Thank you, Jesus.



Sunday, July 26, 2015

In Loving Memory of Mom

It's been three days since mom passed away and the second day was the hardest for all of us. Yesterday was some better; but grief comes and goes likes waves in the ocean. It's the best way I can describe it. You never know when grief will hit you.

I am so happy mom is with Jesus. She loved him so much. Even as sick as she was, she was still witnessing for God to her nurses.

She did it in the hospital and to her hospice nurses.

She had the strongest faith of anyone I have ever known.

She loved reading the Bible and she was always praying for her family and friends.

Mom always said, "Jesus has been so sweet to us. He is amazing and wonderful and He saved my soul." :)

She also loved her family. Her children and grandchildren. Especially little babies.

Other things she enjoyed, Nascar and Jeff Gordon was her driver. She was very passionate about watching a race unless Jeff wrecked and then she was done. Makes me laugh thinking about it.

She loved her strong coffee, a good dinner, jewelry, perfume, lipstick, and blush. She never wanted to leave home without lipstick and blush on. A favorite memory of mine is her love for chocolate and watching her eat it and get it all over her mouth and fingers. After every dinner she wanted dessert, she had a sweet tooth like no other and if you told her their was dessert, she would forego her dinner and skip right to dessert.

Our morning routine for 2 1/2 years was after she got up, I would open the blinds and the front door so she could see the sunshine. She would always say, "Good morning, my beautiful daughter, it's going to be a beautiful day." We would get her settled in her chair and give her medicine to her and then her ice cold water and then came the coffee.

She watched The Price is Right every single day. She asked me not to long ago, "Patty, take me out west so we can go on the Price is Right. "  I would have loved doing that with her.

She had a laugh that was contagious. She would get to laughing so hard that her belly would shake.

Mom had a rough childhood, never knowing when she would get food in any given day and other things that I won't mention and then she battled brain cancer like a champion or I should say it this way, LIKE A BOSS. She never gave up and always believed God for her healing. He honored every prayer she prayed over her own body. Mom and dad were married for 51 years when he died and after that her health began the gradual decline.

Still, in her last weeks on this earth, she talked about God. She wanted to see Jesus.

I know God was proud of her. I know momma finished her race well and now she gets to be with Jesus forever.

I can't end this post without honoring mom in this way.

Do you know Jesus personally?

If not, here is a prayer of salvation you can pray right now:

God sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. He died for your sins. He was punished so you don’t have to be. Not only that; death did not defeat Him. After three days, Jesus rose from the dead, alive again!

The only way to find forgiveness from God and to begin a relationship with Him is to trust in Jesus’ sacrifice for you and repent—turn from your sins.

Simple Prayer:

“Dear Lord Jesus,

I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead.  I trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me to do your will.

In your name, amen.”

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mom's Homegoing

I don't think my heart has ever been this sad in my entire life. A deep sadness and I have cried so many tears over the loss of our mother.

Losing both parents within two years is very hard.

Our momma was the strongest willed person I have ever known. She fought to the very end. I think that is what was so hard on us.

On Thursday evening, we made a favorite meal mom had made for so many years. We had just finished eating and I could hear her breathing had gotten worse and we all went in her room  to check on her.

From six that evening until she passed away at 8:15 was the hardest and most intense hours we have ever been through.

Right before mom passed away, the sun came out from behind the clouds and  the sun was shining through the window so brightly on momma's face. Mom loved a sunny day. She loved red birds. She loved hearing the birds singing.

The sun was shining brightly on her face and a red bird flew by her window and then not long after that she was gone.

The sunshine and the red bird was a blessing from God.  It really was a gift from God in the toughest time for our family.

My family and I had so many great moments together during mom's last weeks on earth. Lots of tears and a lot of laughter and a lot of walking down memory lane. I'll never forget it.

It's so comforting to know her last breath here was her first breath in heaven. She is reunited with daddy and that makes me happy.


Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

2 Corinthians 5:8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.


I love you momma and will miss you every day!!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

In God's Time

Little did I know that after my last post mom's condition would change that quickly.

After a wonderful day with mom on Sunday, the very next day she went from stable to worse.

My sister Donna, who is an RN, and her son Nicholas, my brother and myself and my son Jason and our friend Georgia, who we consider family have been together in our home for a week watching over momma and we had all come into the living room after sitting in the room with mom all day and while she was resting.

I went in to check on her a little while later and her eyes were open and I was talking to her but she wasn't able to speak. My sister and brother came in the room and my sister checked her vitals and her oxygen had lowered to 59. We quickly put her oxygen on and she stabilized.

After that, it has been worse. She is slowly dying. Things have progressed with her body in the dying process and we thought two nights ago she was passing away but she is still with us and we are shocked.

She is having such a hard time breathing and it is emotionally exhausting watching her struggle to breathe and to see her in this much pain.

We have prayed over her, read Scripture to her, sang to her and we have just been by her side.

God has blessed us with sweet moments with mom. Where she really isn't speaking anymore, she has been able to tell us that she loves us and there is no way you can hear that enough from a dying parent. We take it all in and thank God for the blessing and gift that it is.

So, we start a new day. Praying God will relieve mom of her suffering and take her on to heaven.

This is what I am realizing more and more every day, God has a timing for everything, a time to live and a time to die and He is in control of everything. Mom will leave this earth when it's God's time.

In the meantime, God gives grace and strength and encouragement and provision.

We have been to tired to cook, too tired to go to the grocery store and on Sunday, Donna's co-workers brought us food and desserts and that was such a blessing and a help to us.

This has been a special time with our family. We are on an emotional roller coaster but we have God right here with us helping all of us with each second of each day.

I praise God for His love and strength and help and I thank all who are praying for mom and for us.



Monday, July 13, 2015

Conversations

Yesterday, I was sitting with mom and she was watching the Andy Griffith show and we were laughing at Barney dancing on one of the episodes.  I said, daddy looked a little like Andy and mom agreed.

She told me she had been thinking a lot about dad lately and God and Jesus. :)  She said, I guess I shouldn't say anything and I told her she could talk about anything. She has a hard time forming her words of what she really wants to say; but mom finally said, "I wonder how long I have left"?

God gave me strength for the entire conversation. Mom doesn't realize she is home on hospice or how long the doctor thinks she has left and she doesn't need to know. Mom having dementia and the two new brain tumors are enough for her.

Of course, after the conversation, I am sure mom "knows" something.

After that part of the conversation, I was telling her the dinner menu for the night and she was excited about it because its her favorite thing to eat. Chicken and baked potato. That led to us talking about how she used to fry chicken and bake biscuits and make homemade cinnamon rolls. We talked about how daddy used to make his roast almost every Sunday and the sausage biscuits he would make for the people at church. Great memories.

It was all I could do not to cry. As we were having those conversations, I thought, conversations with a loved one on hospice take on a whole new meaning because you don't know how much longer this side of heaven you will be able to have those conversations.

It was a sweet time with mom.  A gift from God.