Friday, September 30, 2011

No shame in dying



It’s a hard balance to find.

Pouring yourself out onto your blog, soaking in comfort from friends who leave comments promising that they are still praying.

Then wanting to share those little and huge things that are changing your life daily – and wanting to preserve someone’s privacy and dignity… how do you carve that fine line?


There is no shame in dying.

Not after a life well-spent.


But somehow I find myself more protective than ever.  Wanting to spare her the indignities of not being able to care for herself.  The indignities of anyone  remembering her as anything other than beautiful, capable, encouraging, and quick to laugh.



Grief comes before the final loss.  When you realize that your time is short and that things you thought would always be there… are slipping faster than you can reach for them.  Then the grief becomes mixed with your gratitude.



It hurts to learn that lesson that life is made up of those million little things – and that the “big” things are not what you miss at this very moment.



I didn’t take it for granted that I had a truly wonderful mother-in-law.  I took for granted that I would always be able to walk next door and borrow a cup of cornstarch and the advice to use it to fix the dinner that flopped.

first down load 030


I didn’t take it for granted that she’d always be there to talk to.

But I took for granted that she’d always be there for Itty Bit to talk to.



I can smile through tears when I look at the pictures… so many of them of her with the youngest members of our family.  It is no secret why they love her sense of fun.



And the images Dana captured – of the real family moments, are ones that show this abiding joy.

DSC_5952 copy


It made it doubly hard to bear when cancer brought pain.  Watching her muscle through, clinging to her innate cheerfulness.  Holding tight to her faith.


I was struck wordless when she made it in to church shortly after starting chemo.

Not that she’d come to church, but that the children would not stop climbing into her lap.  She was swarmed.



It spoke volumes to me that when Mr. Daddy saw one of the police officers on the side of the road, he pulled over to tell him about Mom’s diagnosis.  The heartbroken officer also called her “Mom”.  I don’t know why I was surprised.



The daughter who arrived this morning from hours away… isn’t related by birth.  But rather by love and kindness.  Her entire life transformed as a teen by the heart and home of the woman she now calls “Mom”.



I am keenly aware that we are in a painful and bittersweet period of Lasts.  I am so grateful to you who have stood by us and prayed for this woman who poured out her life into grown men and women who would still call her “Mom” one day.




In sharing with you that our time with her is likely short, I want to do well by her.

I want to tell you what I think she would say.


That dying is not a sign of little faith.

That living well is far more important.

That time is a gift.

People are worth it.


and Love Wins.




I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

                                                                                           2 Timothy 4:7-8


Allenspark Lodge said...

So often I feel that there are just no words. But this time, there are. And you said them.

Thank you for sharing, and God bless you and your family.


Mom of M&Ms said...

I can only lift you up.. and thank you for sharing... i want to be a daughter in lawe like you.. I am envious of a mother and mothein law like you have... and I yearn the itty bitty never forgets...

Loving and praying with you all!

stephanie said...

my heart and prayers are with y'all.

Anonymous said...

Wrapping you in the biggest long distance hug known to man. Praying a flood of prayers for each of you, for no pain, for comfort, for no fear, for the peace that passes all understanding. For the clarity that comes from His vision... and the certainty that He is real, and His Word stands forever. Dear Father God.. hold this precious family close. Lord, make this journey as easy as such a hard journey can be, and never, ever leave those who are left behind. God, You alone are our comfort in times like these; may Your comfort wrap around my friends like a blanket and provide the security of Your promises. Thank you Father... we are thankful for Your Son so that we can lay this prayer at Your feet. Amen

Danielle said...

I'm so sorry for everything you all are going through. But this post shows how amazing you all are and I know you will make it through. Prayers being sent your way for sure!

rachel said...

this is really beautiful, Rachel.

Amy said...

I deeply wish I could offer more than my prayers sweet friend, so deeply. You are amazing and I am so proud of you. Proud of you for being honest, loving, strong. I can only hope that someday, if and when I go through something like this, that I can keep it together like you. I can't tell you to "keep your chin up" or "not to worry", because quite honestly there is not "right" thing to say.... all I can do is pray. Love you Rachel and know that my heart is aching for you all!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry your family is going through the sadness. It isn't easy but God is there for your family and her. He will make sure she will be in safe hands and loving warm family atmosphere.

Mrs Mom said...

Love you guys Rach. Even though we've never met your amazing and incredible Momma in law, I feel like we have. And we love her too- and would call her "Mom" as well.

Thinking of all y'all. Knee mail continues.

TIFFANY said...

I don't have any words, just tears and prayers for your family. That was a beautiful post and you can be assured that you honored your mother-in-law well. Praying for comfort and peace for your family.

sara said...

Rachel, this was such a beautiful post and so honoring to your Mother in Law! She reminds me so much of my precious Aunt who lost her fight to cancer 2 years ago. these are good words, my friend. Love does indeed win!!

I am praying for you!!

Brandi said...

Rarely can you say someone is as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside... she is. Thank you for sharing her beauty with us.

Lifting your family in prayer.

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Habakkuk 3:17-19

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him:

Kelly said...

Oh Rachel
words do not express the sorrow I have for you and your family right now. I will continue to lift up your mother in law and your family in my prayers.

Cindy said...

may god make her journey home swift and painless....

i will say a prayer for her tonite, too!!!

big hugs, cindy

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

It's never easy. Even when you have a head's up. Big hugs. xoxo

Jody said...

A beautiful post from a beautiful lady. I'm sorry for the sadness surrounding you, I can't help but cry for you and I've never met you both!
Many {{{hugs}}} and prayers for you, Mr. Daddy and the family.

Angie Vik said...

She sounds like such a neat person. I'm glad you have a close relationship with her. We're never ready to say good-bye to those we love, no matter how much time we have with them.

Foursons said...

I wish there were magic words I could type into my computer and make everything all better. My prayers are with all of you. May peace and comfort abound beyond understanding.

One thing that the pastor's wife said at my FIL's funeral was "Good job "C" family." There was never a moment that my FIL ever felt alone or unloved while he fought the good fight and I know that y'all are soaking up every second with your MIL that you have remaining. So I say to you, "Good job "G" family. You have done well and your love is known.

NaomiG said...

Praying for a special sense of God's presence in all your lives as you go through these days... praying for lack of pain for her, and praying that we will all be called together soon to be with Christ... which is far better... Phil 1.23.


robin said...

I'm still wiping away the tears that keep coming. I feel like I can relate to a lot of what you feel.

That's a really personal and appreciative post that clearly shows your love and respect for your mother-in-law. Everything you so true.

My oldest daughter had just turned 5 when my mom (my best friend) was killed and still misses her. I wish she would have been around to meet my other children.

Sending you a *HUGE HUG!* I hope to have someone like you on my side when my boys get married!

GunDiva said...

Thank you for sharing Mom with us; I hope she can feel the love all of us from the blogosphere are sending.

Love and hugs to all of you.

Janie Fox said...

This is really beautiful. Praying for you and your family. God bless you all.

Cherie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cherie said...

I read through your post carefully. I looked at each picture carefully. I bring your feelings into my own heart. No words,only feelings that I cant describe. I have asked our Father to bless you and your family as only He knows how. Much love to you and thank you for being strong enough to share.

Bethany said...

Keep treasuring each moment. Each memory. Hard as they are, you are serving her and the Lord well: bringing glory to the only One who could bring good out of something so awful. Praying for you, Mr. Daddy, Itty Bit and all who loved her.

Shana said...

Oh Rachel. I am so sad, yet so happy. You are right. Love never fails, especially God's and when life is too much for us to bear He will bring us home to heal us and hold us. I know this is hard as Chris' Daddy's passing is still so fresh and hard to deal with. It is the slow fading that is hard but I think it is a blessing in some ways because you can eek out just a bit more time, another story or a last hug and I love you. Please do not think anything you posted or any photo or description of "mom" is in any way giving up her dignity. All things I have ever read have been nothing but beautiful, sweet and honest. They showed what a Godly and loving and fun lady she is. Remember to keep hugging and talking and saying I love you till you can't anymore. I pray for you all daily as you know and will be saying extras for peace and calm and no pain and understanding for all the little ones too. God blessed you with her and she is blessed with you. I love you and wish I was close enough to hug you and to help you.

danette said...

Rachel, this is such a beautiful post. Your MIL sounds like such an amazing person who has touched many lives. I'll keep her and your family in my prayers.

Sarah said...

I am so sorry. Godspeed to her.

Diane said...

Sending prayers and hugs for you and your family.

You did such a wonderful job of showing us what a beautiful, precious soul she is.

And I am so glad that your faith is so strong because you all know that you'll be seeing her again one day and will never have to say goodbye again.

Anonymous said...

This has me in tears and my heart is breaking for you. But I thank you for sharing. I wish I was better with words because there is so much more in my heart that I wish I could express. ((HUGS)) <3

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Praying for you...and for her. You have honored her beautifully. This post so touched my heart tonight, and reminds me of my own mother who lived well...and died with honor after a valiant battle with cancer.

Love and Prayers...

Furry Bottoms said...

I have goosebumps after reading this post, Rachel. You're such a good person. I'm sorry for your Grandma, but know that she has a great place waiting for her on the other side. I am so glad you shared this with us.

I know how hard it is to find the right balance. You want to share, but then again, reserve the privacy that the person deserves. I think you did it perfectly in this post.


He & Me + 3 said...

Your pictures share a lifetime of love & happiness. I am so sorry for your families loss. I pray the peace that passes all understanding will be with all of you day to day. ((hugs))

Stacy said...

This was such a beautiful written post. Honoring and celebrating a wonderful woman. I am so, so sorry for your family's loss. Many hugs and prayers.

Jenny said...

Thank you for sharing your incredible Momma-in-Law with us. You have such a wonderful family. Sending prayers your way.

scooterpie said...

As usual, you have said it all perfectly. You are BOTH lucky to have had one another. I know the pain we feel in the loss of such a beautiful, loving person cannot be skipped or even gone through easily but take comfort in knowing that there is no more pain where she is now. Sometimes when I can find no good in my own heartache I have to remember the one I miss and love with my whole heart is not hurting anymore. It may be enough to get you through a moment when all you feel is overwhelming sadness. Take each moment as they come. I love you SO much and am always here for you Sis

Anonymous said...

I just wandered over from GunDiva's. This was just beautiful! Your MIL sounds like a beautiful person as well. Thank you for sharing.

Susan. said...

Last week I heard someone say that a person's eternity is what exists in the memory of him/her left behind in the minds and hearts of others. Your mother-in-law leaves her own beautiful eternity in your hearts and minds. Your post was a wonderful tribute to the love and inspiration she's been to you for so many years. Those who have such a person in their life know they are truly blessed with a model for their own lives. Prayers are with you as you face life without her until the final reunion in Heaven's glory. Your peace will be found in supporting each other, and especially your father-in-law, in the days ahead.
Wishing you the comfort and compassion of family and friends in this tough time.

Marley's Mama said...

Oh, dear friend, my heart aches for you! It wasn't that long ago that I was in the same agony that you and yours are now in. I pray that you can feel the Lord wrap His loving arms around you all as He waits to welcome "Mom" into her reward. Much love and prayers to you all!

Tara G. said...

Oh Rachel...tears! I love the photos of her whispering comments and her head thrown back in laughter and delight!! Precious.

Kameron said...

It is the most difficult to know that you got to experience her to the fullest, but that your child will not grow up knowing her like you did. I cry as I type this as I can relate. Huge hugs to your whole family.

Emmy said...

Oh Rachel- you did good. You did really good.

K- floortime lite mama said...

heart is breaking in a thousand pieces
Love you Rach and Mr Daddy and Itty bit and his granpa
Sending you all tons of love and prayers

Big Mama Cass said...

So sorry for your loss. Beautiful post. It made me cry. Big hugs.

Jess said...

What a beautiful moving tribute Rachel. You can be a very funny lady, but you are also an incredible writer... and your love of life and your love for those close to you screams out loud and clear in this post. Hugs and prayers as your family celebrates her life, now that she is home, and as you all find a way to move on in your days without her.

Catherine Anne said...

What a beautiful gift of a person!

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