The week has been brutal.
Itty Bit was asleep before I turned off the light.
I feel like I could crawl into his mini bed and be instantly asleep too.
So you get randomness. Because my brain needs to be defragged and the week has been a blur.
If you ever say, “no thanks, I don’t want to remember them that way”, please stop and consider…
The end of a loved one’s life is just as precious as the beginning.
The mass exodus of people who are uncomfortable with it… can lead to loneliness in what could be a very beautiful time.
Please hear me. There are few worse regrets to have. You’ll never get this chance again. Dig in. Do the unpretty things. The things you’ve likely done without thought for a newborn. Do them with love.
Because get this…
IT WON’T BE WHAT YOU REMEMBER.
It’ll be hard. But the memories that fill those quiet moments will be the happy ones and the funny ones.
One of those beautiful things I would have missed? Just the two of us. I sang old hymns quietly to her. I picked up her Bible, which lay open to a Psalm. I read it out loud. Faltering and then stronger.
She opened her eyes and as I reached the end of a sentence, she said the last word with me.
The last word she spoke.
Her service was today.
A high school auditorium full of people she loves.
I heard it in my heart before I walked out the door this morning.
She never worried about the economy.
She invested in people.
And her dividends will be filling those chairs.
Nearly six months ago the surgeon looked at us dazedly, “I didn’t expect this”.
Dad turned to me and said, “How is God going to be glorified in this? I can’t see it.”
Today I pointed through the auditorium and said, "Dad, this is how He is glorified”.
The church worship team played some favorites.
My mom and sister harmonized with the flute and guitar soloists.
And by “It Is Well With My Soul”, I was speechless to see the crowd on their feet, many with arms raised.
This is how He is glorified.
It was hard not to notice them.
The gaggle of cousins aged 5 and below were boisterously screaming and laughing as they battled it out ninja style after the service.
The contrast of the earlier decorum and the childhood craziness now occurring…
And it made me smile.
They were too busy LIVING to be weighed down by the sadness of dying.
Giggling madly as they tried in vain to hide near a bank of lockers. I couldn’t help but smile and be so thankful for what they brought to the day.
And because it’s my life, and apparently would be far too normal without surprises…
I spent Monday grieving over our loss and scanning hundreds of old photos into the computer. I finally surrendered to fatigue at 2am and snuck to Itty Bit’s bed for the usual last check.
He was soaked.
Must have had a fever.
Wait… why is the carpet wet?
(aka: why is my BARE FOOT wet?)
An hour later…
a very groggy boy washed and in fresh pajamas,
1 pillow, 2 stuffed animals, 4 blankets, and 8 towels in the washing machine,
carpet cleaner applied,
vomit so bad a Dyson was required.
I wanted to burn the bedroom.
The three of us laid in bed with an overdose of Febreeze from 3 – 5am.
(Two hours of sleep if you are counting.)
Itty Bit woke me up with a proclamation that the food evacuation process was reversing itself at high speed.
We spent 5 – 7am on the bathroom floor. Sleep was abandoned.
Alternate violent expulsions for the next four days.
Then a 24 hour honeymoon in which said kiddo got loads of this:
And ended with him throwing up on the cute suit and floor.
(of course, right?)
And because I love you and know that my “it could only happen to me” stories have got to make you feel better about your normal life…
They had turned the lights off in the facility 15 seconds after he threw up.
Deaf and now-blind mom.
Throw up kid.
One hand holding an emergency flashlight (cell phone)
= kid drenched from head to foot by high volume pushbutton faucet.
Did I mention we were in the dark?
You know it’s sad when your kid names them.
That was my pink medicine throw up.
That was my grapes throw up.
That was my cookie throw up.
I hope he doesn’t remember the “Grandma’s memorial service when I nearly drowned in the dark bathroom” throw up.
And just to leave you with something that makes me smile.
It was only last summer that Mom totally made a joke out of me.
Just shy of 80 years old.
And she stacked more wood in that trailer than I did.
In my defense, I may or may not have been taking pictures of her strapping logger son. She’s 50% responsible for those rugged good looks.
(And she is 100% responsible for the fact that no meal I ever cook will ever compare to those he grew up with. I mean… except for the poop oysters ;)
A very exhausted girl bidding you goodnight.
Thank you for living this journey with us. For your prayers and encouragement and for simply honoring her by letting me share her. Somehow I feel like missing her will be far more heartbreaking than the past few weeks.