On the Saturday that we moved in, we received the sad news that my grandmother had apparently suffered a stroke a few days earlier. Her care-givers had been trying to figure out what was wrong with her, thinking at first that she was just sick, but as time went on they knew the truth. It was an exhausting day to receive such news but we were glad to be in the same city instead of 3.5 hours away. Around 9:30 pm the following Tuesday night, my Mom called to tell me that the doctor thought it was near the end and they were driving up to be with my grandmother. I planned to be there first thing in the morning, but when my husband made phone calls to cancel his morning meetings, he could not get ahold of anyone. So I had to wait until almost 1pm, not knowing if it would be too late to see her once more. I had planned to visit her the day after Christmas, but came down with a nasty stomach virus and had to cancel. So I had not seen her since Thanksgiving and really wanted to see her once more.
Normally, I do not like to be around death and sadness and honestly try to avoid it. I planned to make a quick trip to say my good-byes and return home to my girls because Mark really needed to get back to work. (It was only his second day on the job and the new business was opening that week!) However, once I got to my grandmother's house, I did not want to leave. She could not move or speak but she did move her eyes when I told her I was there and I am certain she knew me. I had my time alone with her and told her how much I loved her and all my favorite memories of our times spent together. (I lived with my grandmother for almost a year before getting married and we had some really precious times together.) Then one of her former care-givers came with her guitar and sang all my grandmother's favorite hymns with my parents and I as we wept and sang, It was a precious time. A little bit later the hospice nurse came and checked on her and told us that death was near. She could not even get a blood pressure and her hands and feet were already starting to turn purple. She prayed with us and we told God we were read to let her go. And only a few moments later my grandmother died. It was God's perfect timing.
Like I said before, I do not normally like to be around death. But this was different. I was so, so, thankful that I had been there. So relieved that I had not missed it. It was such a precious time. If Mark had been able to cancel his morning meetings, I would have missed it. If it had happened 4 days earlier, I would have missed it. But God's timing was perfect and I am thankful that He allowed me to be a part of her passing.
Please enjoy this random assortment of sweet pictures of my grandmother. I loved her very much.