Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Lasts

 

The waiting room was packed.

Family members filled the chairs, lined the walls, and paced the hall.

 

And that phone call… the one that changes your life forever -

it brought a silence to the room as it rang.

 

Uh-huh.

Okay.

Okay.

I understand.

Uh-huh.

Okay.

 

We waited for the other end of the conversation.

The one we desperately needed to hear, but desperately feared.

 

And in one small sentence, the oxygen was sucked from the room and only a painful silence remained.

 

In a single moment, I saw my father-in-law’s face crumple as he took in the news.

I saw his son slide off his hat and reach for him.

Four of her siblings were there; family resemblance made bittersweet by their matching tearstained cheeks.

 

 

Sixty-two years.

Far more of their lifetime spent together than apart.

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Seeing the profound shock and sudden grief spread through the room, it was easy to recognize the shared love we have for this woman.

But I realized anew why even breathing enough to speak was hard for this man.

 

vines

 

While they are so intertwined as to be a unit that can survive surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and all the ugliness and suffering that comes with them… you cannot possibly remove one vine without causing terrible damage to the other.

And this is the way it should be.

 

Doesn’t make it any easier.

 

And I hate thinking of these next months in terms of Lasts.

birthdays

Easter

anniversaries

camping trips

Thanksgiving

Christmas

A new year

 

But really, shouldn’t each day be lived as a Last?

IMG_9677

 

Please don’t stop praying.  Please call your mom and tell her you love her.  Please hug your kids another fourteen times.  Please marvel at your blessings and thank the One who gave them to you.

 

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit .

~Psalm 34:18

43 comments:

Allenspark Lodge said...

There are no words. I care.

Bill

myletterstoemily said...

oh rachel! this is such a beautifully written piece of
heartbreak and devotion. i pray for mercy and healing.

Mrs. Lukie said...

Oh, Rachel. This breaks my heart into one million little pieces for you all. Praying for each of you <3

stephanie said...

Nothing I can say seems sufficient. I am praying for all of you.

Leiah said...

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)

Praying for all of you - those bound together by this beautiful cord of love.

wife.mom.nurse said...

My heart breaks for you two...in prayer...

lifebythecreek said...

There will be blessings along the way, dear one. And I know you well enough to believe that you will cherish every one. Know that these sharp, painful stones that pierce your feet on this road will be polished and refined to become the jewels in your crowns. I am so sorry... and I will continue to pray. ((((hugs))))

Mom of M&Ms said...

wrapping a bunch of hugs to send your way..and knowing that the Lord will see you through.. HE will carry you all..and yes.. we should live every darn single moment as if it were our last!

Kara said...

Oh, Rachel.

I'm sorry. This is hard beyond words.

Our family is praying for yours; I have traveled that road, and I know every bump and bruise it holds. We are standing with you in prayer.

sara said...

this post was beautiful. I am praying for your family.

Bethany said...

As you said, there is nothing that will make this easier. Praying for comfort in the difficult days ahead. Praying for peace for the moments that are too difficult. Praying for joy that surprises.

Kmama said...

I just don't even know what to say. The post is such a contradiction. So much beauty in writing and so much tragedy. My thoughts are with you all.

Brandi said...

This is so heartbreaking. A double edged sword... to have this knowledge you'd rather not have, but also be able to tell this beautiful soul exactly how special she is. Praying for peace for your family.

Kelly said...

I'm so very sorry Rachel & Mr. Daddy. I'm praying for you all.

Stacy said...

I am so very sorry for your family. (((hugs))) and prayers.

Tomara said...

God's grace shine on you! May His comfort surround you and may you understand the peace that surpasses all understanding. Prayers for you and the family.

Furry Bottoms said...

This brought goosebumps to my arms-- very very beautiful post. I'll be thinking of you and your family, praying for grace and strength in this difficult time. ((HUGS))

Foursons said...

Oh Rachel. I'm so sorry. I pray for peace and comfort beyond understanding for every last one of you. You know I've walked this road, and my heart breaks for you and Bob. I'm here for you and I'm praying.

Lisa said...

Love to you all...Just love.

singedwingangel said...

OH sweetie much love and prayers to your entire family. I just can't imagine what ya'll are going through but you displayed it beautifully in the words above.

Mama4Real said...

Tears. Just tears and ache. That picture of the vine intertwined together is so.... IT. Ugh. I hate this for your family.

Michelle said...

Oh Rachel. My heart is breaking for you. I'm so sorry.

Heather said...

I just can't tell you how sorry I am.

GunDiva said...

I'm so sorry.

Hugs and love to the whole family.

Pam Bowers said...

So sad. Praying for your family.

Mrs Mom said...

Knee mail continues for all y'all Rach. Non-stop.

Sending hugs to each and every one of you too. xoxo

Beth Zimmerman said...

So sorry! And yet so glad to know that Jesus is right there with you helping you through this! Know that we love you! And that we are here ... ready to listen ... when you are ready to talk!

Amy said...

Moving into that time of my life, too. I've watched one grandfather pruned away from a grandmother who left this earth. And he has found another love. I'm watching another grandfather grieving the "lasts" and wondering why their perfect love is ending this way. So, so, sad and so universal. Prayers are with your family.

Jennifer Haas said...

I'm so sorry. Their are no words I can give you to help. I will continue to pray for you and your family!

Shana said...

Both of you. I am so sorry. I know this is such a painful road to travel. I am here for you. I am praying for you and I am thinking and wishing for you always. I know you all will make the most of the time you have together and take each little moment and each little memory and store them in your heart. They will help you heal and remember the good. Take all the photos you can and love even more. Just be there which is the best you can do.

Lady Old Soul said...

Oh honey...I am so desperately sorry. I'm sending my fiercest hugs, and my deepest prayers to you and Mr. Daddy. And to Itty Bit, who may not yet understand what those Lasts will mean. x'(

Lisa said...

I haven't been on in a while and I hate to find a sad update such as this. Prayers and love sent your way. May the lasts you have to face be the best 'lasts' ever. God bless you all.

robin said...

Love your post....hate the ending....so sorry for your family. :( Was catching up on blogs after being away a week and was reading them in order from last to newest (was really wishing for a different outcome.) Will keep you guys in my prayers.

Aunt Crazy said...

I'm speechless. Trying to find words of comfort when there just aren't any. I love y'all and my heart is breaking in your honor. Honor her by living in her memories and sharing her lifetime of loving and giving, by continuing to tell the fun stories you have to share, by keeping her memory alive for the youngsters that will have a hard time remembering. Mr. Daddy, no one is EVER prepared to lose a momma, but boys, well, boys need their mommas, even when they are husbands, fathers, and grandfathers themselves, boys still need their mommas. I'm hoping that peace will work its way into your hearts in the days to come. <3

Heather said...

My words are not adequate enough to tell you how deeply sorry I am. Holding you and your family up in prayer like you are so faithful to do for me. May the peace of God that passes all understanding be with you today.

NaomiG said...

Oh, hugs and prayers to you all!! I pray you will feel God's hands carrying you through this time. And, thank you for the reminder to value our loved one's... so very true.

Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

Keeping your family in prayer. Love and hugs....

Buckeroomama said...

Love and prayers to your family, Rach and Mr. Daddy.

Susan said...

For those of us who've survived getting this kind of news before, it's still always a painful stab to the heart when we hear that someone we care about is about to go through the same terrifying challenge. Your advice to live every day fully is the best advice I can think of. A strong, close family and caring friends makes it easier to meet this challenge. You are wrapped in prayer and heartfelt compassion; I am so disappointed that you've gotten this sad news. Your eloquence has painted such a beautiful picture of how you all feel about this very special woman and the man who adores her.

tattytiara said...

Oh all of my love to your family, sweetheart. What a deeply difficult time.

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

I'm so sorry. I'm praying for your family.

kc said...

Please let me know if you need anything!!! You already have my love and prayers...anything else, let me know!!!

Amy said...

Emerging from my own grief to say I know where you stand. You're in my prayers.