Thursday, November 8, 2012

Saying good-bye

My grandmother passed away 2 weeks ago.

You may remember my stories from the extraordinary gift I received to visit her this past July when she had gotten very ill but was recovering quite nicely.
You can read those stories by clicking here.

About 2 weeks prior to her death, she was unexpectedly diagnosed with colon cancer.
Initially, we thought this was a new condition for her.
But the more we thought about it, we realized that it may have been with her for much longer than anyone realized and may have been a major contributing factor to her severe infection near her 96th birthday in June which landed her in the hospital and eventually a lengthy rehab stay.
But she recovered from that.
And was back in her apartment, although now living with a full-time aide.
Soon after her diagnoses though, they discovered she was quite anemic, which led to shortness of breath.
On the morning of the day she met Jesus, she didn't wake up at her regular time.
Her aide went to check on her and discovered her having great difficulty to breath.
Her aide propped her up in an effort to help her, but it didn't help.
She called 911, and by the time the EMT's arrived, my grandmother went into cardiac arrest.
The EMT's were able to revive her, but when she arrived at the hospital, she was put on a ventilator.
Thankfully, her family was aware of her wishes as stated in her living will, and after many consultations with the doctors, it was decided to honor her wishes and remove her from life support.

Such a bitter-sweet day for us.
When we got word of the cancer, we prayed she would not have to suffer through months of chemo.
We asked the Lord to spare her from unbearable pain.
God answered our prayers in such a kind, loving way.
She left us very quietly, with much dignity, with grace.
It was Victory Day for her!!
I hated knowing she was no longer with us, but the overwhelming peace and gladness for her knowing she was simply "absent from [her] body, and [now] present with the Lord."  2 Corinthians 5:8

When I got word of this, I immediately spoke with the Lord and asked him if I could go to the funeral.
I was completely at peace about being unable to attend the funeral as I had just visited her in July and was so content with that awesome gift!

But I left it in the hands of the Lord.
She met Jesus on Wednesday, and decisions were being made as to whether her funeral would be the following Saturday or the next Monday.
Neither day worked out especially because of a little thing known as Hurricane Sandy.
She slammed into the East Coast on the day we were hoping for a funeral.
So everything got postponed to the following Friday.
Which gave me more time to pray and trust.
And AGAIN, yes, again, God provided.
All of it....and more.
I got to go.

What an awesome God I serve.
And not just because He chose to answer my prayers in the way I was hoping for.
But because He allowed the opportunity to visit with family I hadn't seen in over 14 years as well.
I couldn't believe it......though I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was.
Sorrow was turning to real joy!!

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