Monday, March 16, 2009

The Long Goodbye

My sweet husband got the call last night from his mother. His grandmother is not doing well and has been given very little chance of recovery. She is 88 years old - a wonderful soul! A true "southern lady" - she was always so gracious to me, even before I became a "granddaughter in law". She is a retired nurse and before she was diagnosed with Alzhiemers Disease, she took care of anyone and everyone who was sick. That was her gift. She could make the grumpiest patient feel better. She cared for Granddaddy Freeman (whom I never had the pleasure of knowing) while he battled cancer and then later in life cared for her second husband who also had cancer. She is a strong, independent woman, so my mother in law comes by her strength and independence quite honestly. I know that it has been difficult for her to watch "MaMa" deteriorate over the last several years. Unfortunately, none of us "kids" have been in close enough proximity to provide any type of physical help in the care of MaMa these last few years. It is true, what they say about Alzhiemers - it really is the "long goodbye." The grandmother that we all know has been gone now for a while - but her earthly vessel is here and somehow that has brought comfort...just knowing she is still here.

My husband and his 2 sisters have so many wonderful memories of spending summers at her house. I've heard so many stories, and each one brings a smile to the one telling the tale and those of us listening. She loved the outdoors, loved to garden and work in her yard. She could make a paper clip grow...her yard was a showplace - the colors and the smells-WOW, you just can't imagine. Green thumb is an understatement! She didn't care to much for squirrels though...they were all kinda "skeert" of her and rightly so.

And now, we wait for the call that will inevitably come. Waiting is a difficult thing and as we wait, I realize that she's been waiting a long, long time to be reunited with Granddaddy F, her son R and her parents. Heaven is before her -in all it's splendor...the place that Jesus has prepared for her awaits her arrival - a place where she'll be whole and able to think clearly. A place where loved ones wait for her and a place where we will see her again someday. Her loss will be felt deeply by all of us who know and love her, but we are comforted to know that she will be with Jesus, whom she has loved and served so diligently for so many wonderful years.

Kirstyn, Sara Beth, Garrett in MaMa's lap, Connor, Cole -July 2005

"I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory,
what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine

I can only imagine

1 comment:

Erin Stroud said...

Good-byes are hard no matter what. Praying for you guys as you wait and in the time after.