First, I want to acknowledge my daughter and her gift of photography. The pictures today are all hers. :-) She is good! She has an eye for seeing things that others may miss. I am so thankful for her talent and gift.
Knowing that it comes from all that we have and are dealing with -- kidney disease w/renal failure; cancer; torn rotator cuff; living on worker's comp pay (which if you have ever done that, you know!); not able to get out and about much at all - and when we do, it is a chore; missing our kids and grandkids something fierce right now; it has been a ROUGH year. Sigh.
We know that God has blessed us beyond all measure and description. We are aware of the blessings - and we thank Him and praise Him for them all. We try to keep our focus on all the good things, and all the ways we see God's hand in our lives. But just as it is hard to see the sun shining in the midst of a severe storm, although it is mid-day, it is so hard to see the blessings and good things of life in the times of extreme stress and chaos, too. Thank you Lord for teaching us, and helping us. Especially when we are scared to death! Seems we have more tears and fears than hallelujah's lately. But you know, if that is what it takes? Bring the rain. Sigh.
We were living in Idaho at the time. Momma was laying in a nursing home bed in Sulphur Springs, TX.
Rick and I threw suitcases together, loaded up and headed for Texas and Momma. We drove from Caldwell ID to Cheyenne WY before stopping. Exhausted, we stopped to sleep for a few hours before heading out again.
This time we made it to York, NE. Stopped, called the nurse. She said that she believed Momma was holding on till her baby got there. Rick then called the state police. Explained the situation and told them that we would be traveling fast. He asked for an escort - they refused. Said that if they saw us, it would be a ticket. Rick said -"Well, I understand what you have to do, but you need to understand what I have to do." And back on the road we were.
Me driving for a while. Tears streaming down my face. Praying hard that we would make it in time.
2 pickup trucks with Texas license plates flew past me. I looked at Rick and he said, "Fall in behind them and stay with them!"
So, God gave us an escort! All the way from York, NE to just inside the Texas line! Should have been about 7 hours ... but we made it in less than 4!!!
Called nurse again, this time we were not but about 3 hours away. She said "HURRY!"
Rick took the wheel and with flashers on - he flew me to Sulphur Springs, to my Momma. (And it didn't take 3 hours to do it in, either! LOL)
I walked into the room ... and there she lay. Breathing easy. Not awake, but not hooked up to anything either. I walked over, touched her, leaned in and kissed her. Stood there and held her hand. My sister, my daughter, my son, my daughter in love - all were there with Momma. We talked, we laughed.
And then - in the midst of the loving and the laughing, with me holding her hand ... Momma met Jesus face to face @ 12:37 a.m. November 24, 2007 - Thanksgiving Day.
She waited for her baby ... and we had those last 45 minutes together.
Oh how I miss you Momma!!! My first thought after tasting the cornbread for dressing last night? "Oh goodness! That is good! I gotta call Momma and tell her how good her recipe tastes!" And then, a moment later - "Whoa! She's not here. I can't call her. Oh my! Momma! I love you. I miss you!"
Which I know that shopping and cooking and presents are not the reason for the season ... Jesus is.
However, it is a struggle not to shop, not to cook, not to do the presents - especially when we are surrounded with it all so much.
The hardest struggle is in keeping the attitude of the heart right, the spirit focused.
Our kids are grown, and they understand it all. Even our grandkids are older and they can understand some.
But this Momma's heart and Grannee's heart is having the hard time. Sigh.
Deep breath tho - and we are going for the "homemade Christmas" of yester-year. Lord, guide us and help us, please.
Thank you God for my husband. He is a strength to me - even in the midst of all that he is dealing with. I know his body is weak and weary, and his spirit struggles at times. But he is still my hero. He is my Knight in shining armor! We may not be living the "perfect" fairy tale ... and we may not be "happily ever after" -- but I love him so much!!!
Thank you God for my children and my grandchildren. They have brought me so much joy. Making me laugh till I hurt. They have given me the gray hairs of worry and fears. They are the wind beneath my wings. So many times this year when life has gotten so bad, they have been my focus to keep breathing in and breathing out.
I pray for all those that read this ... now or ever. That God will reach out to you thru all these words. Minister to your heart. Hold you close to His.