Thursday, June 10, 2010

The lost will be found...

I just sat for a few minutes re-reading my earlier posts. Wow, I could feel my love for the Lord in them. I could feel the energy and excitement that I had as I wrote each sentence. I really needed to read those words today. You see, I have been in a bit of a dark place...I am lost, empty, dark, anxious, and sad. I have lost a loving member of my family. My grandmother, affectionately known as Gigi, left this earth on May 29th. While for those of us who believe in Jesus, this is a beautiful thing, I am ashamed to share that I do not know if my grandmother was a believer. I never asked her. We never talked about it...Oh, how I regret this now. Let me start this story at the beginning...

On Wednesday, May 19th, I received a phone call that Gigi had been found in collapsed in her apartment and was being taken to the hospital. My mother shared that it was believed that she had suffered a stroke. Late in the afternoon it was confirmed that my sweet Gigi had indeed suffered a massive stroke that rendered her left side completely paralyzed. She also lost her ability to swallow and verbally communicate. As you can imagine our family was deeply upset. My father pulled me outside of her hospital room and shared that at 91 years old she would not recover. He also shared her Do Not Resuscitate Order that stated she would not allow for a feeding tube or any intravenous fluids. Now it was just a matter of days until she died.

As a family we decided to take her back to her home and have both hospice and 24 hour care takers as well, so that she could die with her family at her side. The next 8 days were the absolute most difficult ones I have ever endured. I worked from 7am-5:30pm. When my husband arrived home I would leave and go to Gigi's until 3 or 4am, sleep for 2 hours and then get up and start the process all over again. Please know that I am not complaining, I would not change that time that I spent with her or my dad for anything in the world. Which leads me to begin to understand why God allowed her to hold on for those 10 days...

For any of you who know me well, you know that my relationship with my father has always been strained. We don't communicate well and my dad has a difficult time sharing his emotions. One long night, standing in the hallway at 3am, I asked my dad if my grandmother believed in God. He said they had never discussed it but he was sure she did because she was raised in the south and they had attended church when he was a little boy. I then asked him if he believes in God...which by the way I was sure he was an atheist... He then said the most beautiful words I have ever heard, "I believe in God." I almost collapsed from pure elation! My dad believes in GOD!!! Wait, let me say it again... MY DAD BELIEVES IN GOD!!!!!!!!!

So while it may have been anguishing to watch my grandmother die and experience each moment of her death first hand, I can see past the pain to the wonderful workings of the Lord. My dad and I have become closer than we ever have been. He cried and thanked me for being there when his mother went to heaven. We have also had a few "church discussions." Now I realize these are just simple conversations, but I have faith and patience. I waited for 16 years for my husband to come around...I have a feeling I may not have to wait this time.

Thank you Lord, for all of your blessings. I realize that while I have experienced a tremendous time of pain and sorrow, I see how that experience has been used for good. Thank you for all of the wonderful things that you do. Amen!

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