Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Celebration

Today was a day of celebration. When a believer goes home to be with the Lord -- while there is grief and sadness over separation, you have to celebrate with the angels that they have entered into a better place. And that is what we did.

The Celebration Service for my Mom today was actually quite enjoyable. I saw men and women that I grew up knowing as my Mom's friends that I have not seen for years...and I had dear friends from my time in Dallas come to show their love and support. My biggest surprise was my friend Mona that flew in and showed up about 30 minutes before the service began. I felt very loved and supported...and we had a lovely time. My sister prayed...we had a time of meditation while we played a song by a mutual friend of ours and had some of our favorite scriptures up on the screen (You KNEW I couldn't do a funeral without using MediaShout! :)) The pastor did the eulogy and then I spoke on behalf of me and my sister. This spring at Mother's Day I had done an altered journal for her and made the first entry into it sharing some of the lessons she had taught be as a mother. So I shared from that...and got a few chuckles about my new obsession (scrapbooking). We had set up pictures of my Mom at different stages in her life and had also laid out a scrapbook page that my niece had made about her NANA and about her being "past away." It was really precious and I love that I have gotten another family member hooked on scrapbooking the "important moments."

Tonight we just kind of hung out with family -- played games...ate several different kinds of pies that people had brought over and laughed. It was a nice ending to what seems like a lovely if emotional day. I am sure there will be some days ahead that will be tough -- but I am glad that today wasn't one of them.

I want to thank each of you for your prayers and support...I know that is what made today easier to get through.

I will be cleaning out my Mom's house for the next few days....which I am sure will be both hard physical labor and a bit emotional as we go through things and make decisions about what to do not only with her things...but our grandparents things that she just moved into her house and didn't really dispose of. I think we have a plan...so i will let you know how it has gone.

By the way -- my niece has made me promise to scrapbook with her for at least one hour each day I am here...she is soaking up techniques...and coming up with a few of her own...which I may just have to steal! can't wait to get back to nashville and hear about all the news and see what Anne and Tracie found for us at CHA.

Ok...gotta go to sleep....tomorrow will come WAY too early.

Love you all.

Friday, July 21, 2006

It's closer to my house

I once heard a pastor share that when a lifelong believer comes to the end of their time here on earth that the conversation might sound something like this.

Believer: Jesus, it is great to meet with you again today -- as we have most days of my life. It seems like we have walked a long way together...but I have enjoyed our time together even though I am a little tired.

Jesus: We have walked a long ways -- traveled many mountains and valleys...and you know what? I think we are closer to my house than we are to yours. Would you like to come to my house tonight?

I think that there was a very similar conversation between my mom and Jesus early Wednesday morning. I think she found herself closer to heaven than earth...and just decided it would be nicer to go there rather than stay here. I have imagined her walking through heaven almost with her mouth open saying, "WOW...I wish the girls were here to see THIS!" And we will be one day.

My sister and I miss her. But it was time...and she didn't suffer here long -- which we are both grateful for. I am now in Dallas...we will leave on Friday morning to go to Shawnee, Oklahoma which is where my mother will be buried -- beside her parents. We will have a graveside service there (my sister's uncle-in-law is coming to do the service). Royce will fly into Oklahoma City tomorrow after noon for the service on Saturday. We will all then drive back to Dallas for a memorial service here for her friends on Tuesday.

I am planning to stay the rest of the week here in Dallas to help clean out the house and get it ready for sale....and perhaps drive a U-haul back on Saturday and Sunday....so will be back by Sunday week at the latest.

Thank you all for your prayers and support...I have felt them and been strengthened by them.

I miss you and will enjoy catching up with you when I return.

Love to all

Monday, July 17, 2006

Blogging Sluggard

I must admit, I have become a blogging sluggard. Oh -- I have plenty of excuses...

1. My life is busy/crazy.
2. My internet hasn't been working at home
3. I was winning the Publisher's Clearinghouse and shooting all the publicity stuff took up all my time.
4. I was preparing to climb Mt. Everest
5. My dog ate my blog entries...

But mostly, I have just been too tired or distracted to sit down and write.

Things are progressing with Mom...she becomes a little more grounded in heaven and a little less grounded here on earth each day. She was able to acknowledge that her college roommate (and best life friend) came to visit her over the weekend. She couldn't say anything -- but she just would smile and smile everytime she woke up to find Donna sitting there. I know it meant a lot to her. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts on behalf of my Mom and my family.

I have been doing a little scrapbooking...here are a couple of pages that I have done.


Monday, July 10, 2006

Back in Nashville

Hello friends...

Well, I am now back in Nashville...and I was surprised how much it felt like I was "coming home" as the wheels landed on the runway. Nashville has become "home" to me because of you all my dear friends. What a blessing you are to me.

As I pulled up to my driveway I noticed two things....

1. My friend had planted some rhododendrums in my flowerbed...I am very excited about that because I LOVE hers...and hope I can manage to keep them alive and cared for.

2. There was something hiding in my bushes....it turned out to be a "Benji" like dog...probably six months old....she seemed kind of scared at first -- but water and some "treats" coaxed her out. She seemed to be well groomed. but she didn't have a collar on -- so I am hunting for her family. In the meantime, I have a cute and a bit rambunctious puppy in my backyard. My Anastasia comes home tomorrow -- so that will be interesting to watch.

A bit of an update on Mom...

She was released from the hospital last Wednesday...and got to go home with Hospice care. She is considered in need of "critical care" -- so that means that hospice will send someone out to be with her 24 hours a day. She is eating a little bit still...but isn't awake very much...and doesn't talk very much. My nephew put together a long video loop of pictures of all of us in the family and the hospice worker just keeps that looping for her...she seems to enjoy looking at it.

I saw her for the last time on Saturday night. Royce, Mona (a good friend of mine that I was working the event in Dallas with) and I went over after our event was done. She was awake and having a pretty good day...so we were able to talk a bit...and she even laughed at something that Royce said. That really made me happy -- so see her sense of humor still intact.

I also had a few minutes by myself with her to say my "good-byes." It is unlikely that she will live more than a few weeks...but I feel like I had some very precious time with her while I was in Dallas...and will treasure that. ALso, my friend, Mona -- found a small notebook that my Mom kept track of all kinds of things in for the past few months -- (becauase she is diabetic she has to track what she eats and her bloood sugar levels). I had scrapbooked her a new one for Christmas -- and this is what Mona found....and it is filled with other thoughts besides her food record. There are prayers for specific people....her thoughts on a book she was reading...what she recalled from various conversations with me and my sister...as well as weather reports and things she remembered from her childhood. It is a treasure trove of information -- and I am sure some of it will have to end up on some scrapbook pages in the near future.

Well...I am going to have to run -- I came home with bronchitis....so am trying to fight it off with some strong antibiotics ( had to get a shot -- *YUCK*)....and rest. Will look forward to seeing you all very soon in person.

Love you all

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Process of Going Home

Hello Dear Friends...

It has been a difficult 10 days. I am so glad that I was able to "go home" to be with my Mom while she was in the hospital and before we knew what her prognosis would be.

We have worked to allow her to "go home" on Monday and be there with hospice care...and a full-time sitter, so that she can spend her last few weeks here with us where she wanted to be -- at home.

We expect her to "go home" to be with the Lord in the next few weeks. We don't exactly know when -- but the Lord does...and I know that her parents will be waiting to greet their only child and usher her into God's throneroom. That is a very comforting thought to me...

"Going home" is a good thing.