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Friday, May 25, 2012

A Treasure in the Darkness

My daughter Carrington with my Dad at my Mom's graveside service.

I have been frantically trying to write in a journal about my Mom's hospitalization. I don't know why I want to write everything down, but I feel desperate to record all of the events.  I don't want to forget our last days with her.  I want my children and grandchildren to be able to read about it too.  It seems strange in a way because it was such a gut-wrenching time for all of us.  But I'm also very greatful for that time to be able to say goodbye to her, thank her for all that she did for us, ask her questions, and be able to tell her how much we all love her.  I decided to take a break from the journaling to write here about an event that took place in the hospital.  It was very special to our family.

One Thursday evening was a particularly emotional time for us.  Kellie, Marcy, my niece Abigail, and I were standing around my Mom's bed praying.  My Dad, Carrington (my daughter) and my nieces Lydia and Mariah were in the ICU waiting room .  I started praying, and thanked God for our Mom and for what an amazing Grandma she was.  I thanked God for some of the wonderful ways she had blessed us and for specific things she had done for us.  I remember mentioning "family night" when we watched the Walton's and ate donuts and popcorn when my siblings and I were kids.  :-)  I also asked for God to give us wisdom to make good decisions and for the "peace that passes all understanding" during this horribly sad time.  I remember asking God to help us feel His presence.

Later that evening, we started asking my Mom questions and frantically writing down her answers.  Questions like, "who made the quilt that I have?", and "where did the cake plate with the handle come from?".  We were desperate for answers to questions that we should have asked a long time ago.  She was also telling us things she wanted at her funeral, like pall bearers and different songs to be sung.  She talked about not wanting to miss her 50th wedding anniversary that's coming up and also her first grandchild's wedding (which will be taking place within the year).   My Dad and my nieces Lydia and Mariah had joined us in my Mom's ICU room.  About an hour or two after our prayer, Carrington called on my cellphone and said, "Mom, you have to come out here so we can tell you something.  I have the neatest story to tell you!"  I told her that I would wait and come out a little bit later.  I knew that once I left my Mom's ICU room that I wouldn't be allowed back in for the night.  They were very strict about visiting hours and the number of people in the room.  We broke the rules constantly and had been kicked out of her room on several occasions because visiting hours were over.  I finally took Mariah out to go sit with Carrington and Abigail because it was getting so late and the nurse was getting irritated with us for having so many people in the room.

To tell the rest of my story, I have to give some background information.  20 years ago this summer, my Mom and Dad, and several other wonderful Christian people started a small crisis pregnancy center in the town they live in.  My Mom ended up becoming the director of the center and worked there for 17 years.  She was passionately pro-life and also counseled many women who were broken-hearted over abortions that they had had. 

Back to my story........  When I went out to the waiting room, Carrington and Abigail were so excited.  Abigail said that they had been watching "I Love Lucy" on their dvd player.  2 women started humming to the music.  Abigail asked them if they wanted to watch it with them.  One of the women said, "Is your Grandmother a patient in the ICU?"  She also asked Abigail what her Grandma's name was.  When Abigail told her, the lady said, "17 years ago, I found myself divorced with 2 children, and pregnant.  I thought about getting an abortion.  I went into a crisis pregnancy center, and your Grandmother counseled with me and was so sweet and understanding.  She encouraged me to have my baby and now I have a 17 year old daughter.  I'm so thankful that your Grandmother helped me when I didn't know what to do." 

Needless to say, my Dad, sisters, and our daughters were thrilled and thankful for this story.  We prayed with the lady and hugged her.  One of the pastors who spoke at my Mom's funeral told that story.  We were so thankful that God sent that lady to remind us that He was there and that our Mom had "fought the good fight" and we will see her again some day.

Isaiah 45:3  "And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel."

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