Last year this time we were gathered around my dear Father-in-law's bed in a skilled care facility. He was taking breaths that we knew had to be stopping soon.
Two years before this sweet man had been diagnosed with a spinal chord tumor. He had been through two operations and radiation...then he fell and really scrambled his brain.
Because the family home was in York and an hour away from us, and because we had a wonderful Skilled Care Facility close to our home we prayed and worked to get Gene admitted here.
Here is a new twist on a verse for you: "Faith without works is dead". I so believed that this was the Lord's will that I acted on it before it was even believed that it could possibly happen. I could have all of the faith in the world that Gene would be accepted in that facility but unless I went in there and filled out paperwork, then pleaded, befriended and cajoled them to reverse a decision that would have not allowed him to be accepted there nothing would have happened. I believed that this was where he was to be but it took work on my part to see it to fruition. I did work!
Mini rabbit trail there...
Anyway, Georgia moved in with my mother and we were in for a long, hard haul.
Gene was the sweetest person with a brain injury I have ever seen. There was no anger. There was only sweet patience. I love the time that I got to spend with him in his final days.
I may be the only person in our family to feel this way. It was so hard for everyone else. My Mom had so recently lost my Dad that this tore her up, Georgia was dealing with her own pain, Warren suffered seeing his Dad like this, the kids just couldn't understand how they could relate to this man, Grandpa.
But I just adored him. Even more than before, if that is possible. This had to be a gift from the Lord! HE truly does give more grace as the burdens increase!
We laugh, because since we have been married I have expressed to Warren that when we were dating I took a long look at his Dad and decided that if Warren turned out to be half the man his Dad was I would be very blessed indeed. Gene was extraordinary in his kindness, generosity, patience and he was solid as a rock!
So, as we stood around his bed...after a night of taking shifts...one sleeping in a room at the end of the hall while two visited quietly in the room there was a sense of finality. We read from the book of Revelation as it so wonderfully describes the beauty of Heaven...we sang...Gene took his final breath and as quietly as he has done everything else in his life...went home to see Jesus, His Savior and Friend.
The sadness got a bit back burnered as we were so relieved for him. His suffering was done! Forever! Praise the Lord, Gene and my Daddy and others that have gone on before will never feel the pain of suffering or the sting of grief again...EVER!
That brings us to today. Ohhh...the sting of grief is so real. You most likely know what I am writing about. The conflict of happiness for their peace but the heart wrenching pain of missing the people that they were. Missing the ability to ask an opinion or to see them smile. The ability to get frustrated with them over the tiniest little things. Just to be in their presence one more time...
Today, Warren is taking the afternoon off and will be spending it with his Mom.
I am so glad. Please keep them in prayer. Warren is an only child and this year has been so hard on him.
Thanks for bearing with this very personal post.
Thanks for being there!