Long overdue

3:06:00 PM

I figure it's getting about that time I should write some posts I promised to write awhile ago. First one being about grandmom dying. I don't want to forget it all, and I do want to praise the Lord here on this blog for the way it all went down. I've been avoiding writing it because
1. it takes time.
2. it'll make it more real.
But I did just say the other day- everything is ahead... but there's also a time to look back on the Lord's faithfulness and remember what He's done.

Around Thanksgiving was when grandmom really stopped eating. From there on out it was up and down. I constantly had bowls of cold oatmeal mixed with yogurt laying in her room, in my kitchen sink, crusted in the dishwasher...Anyway, it was a battle. During this time, we were trying to understand how we're supposed to react to all this. How long can someone possibly go without eating? Especially someone already so thin and frail? Are we supposed to force feed her? What about drinking (which was also a battle- she would just refuse it somedays)? It was really emotional for my mom. By the grace of God I was able to somewhat remove my self from it all so I could actually function. The Lord was really preparing me for her to go. I was getting to the point where I wanted her to just go to heaven. My mom was struggling a lot with it, with really letting her mom go.

It was difficult because she wouldn't eat for a few days and than I'd just pray and she'd eat great for a few days. And it was like that from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Anyway, the Lord was gracious and I feel like that time just flew by- next thing you know it was Christmas and she ate awesome. Christmas eve and Christmas day were really nice and we were able to have her downstairs with us to open presents. But I knew it was her last Christmas. It was a little emotional.

And then she didn't eat anymore. It took until New Years for us to really admit it was the end, I think. Her hospice nurses didn't really even call it. It went really quick. I went out for my friend's birthday Sunday afternoon (the 1st), went to Sunday night prayer, and came home to my whole family in my grandmom's room, my mom snuggled up in grandmom's hospital bed. My grandmom's eyes were unfocused and hazel. I got her to drink a very little, and eat a very little.

So it was Wednesday (January 4th) that I asked her hospice nurse, Rhona (that week they also switched our nurse on us- which freaked me out, but Rhona ended up being a huge blessing), when my mom should kind of let her sisters know that they end was near. She said that if they wanted to see her alert that now was probably best. So when my mom got home from work that day, I let her know. She had a very emotional conversation with her sisters. My aunt Debbie decided to come Friday to see her.
My grandmom gave me her last kiss that night. She just puckered up her lips at me to give me a kiss. It meant the world to me.

That night grandmom looked uncomfortable, we called hospice and they told us to administer a very low dose of morphine orally.

The next day was hard because I was feeling sick. I was having weird nausea and stomach pain like I was going to throw up but didn't. In the midst of that I realize my grandmom is looking uncomfortable and I'm trying to deal with that and not throw up. I pull my mom away from making stir fry to help me. We called hospice and they told us what to do, we gave her low doses of ativan and morphine. She closed her eyes. We called our friends Beverly and Schylo to see if they wanted to say goodbye to grandmom because we knew it'd probably be this next week at the latest. They came over that night and hung out with us, crowding in grandmom's room. Honestly, we didn't know that was her last night. They left. Then my brother Jeremiah said goodbye to grandmom before he went home. We literally all lost it.

By 11 we gave her one last dose of morphine and called it a night.

Not that I slept at all. I looked through old posts her. Then I'd go check on grandmom. I'd listen to messages by my pastor friends. Psalm 23. So much comfort. Then I'd go check on grandmom. I finally fell asleep around 3 and woke up at 6:30. April and the kids were getting ready for school.
I went in to check on grandmom.
Her breathing was different. More shallow.
I checked her feet.
They were cold.
And I knew that today was the day.
I went up and told my mom we needed to call hospice. I told my dad he couldn't leave for work. April decided to say goodbye to grandmom and go to work (it was her last day at her job and the kids were having a party for her. She didn't want to be there when she died or to even know till she got home.) Jeremiah didn't want to know either. Hailey and Micah drove Emilee to school and then she went out with my cousins after. Jesse stayed home up in his room.
By 8 the hospice nurse was there.
Things moved fast at this point. My cousin Renee was on her way from Berlin, NJ,  and my aunt Debbie and cousin Ashley were on their way from Atlantic city.
My mom and dad and I sat around in grandmom's room with Rhona the nurse. We talked about the Lord.
I texted my friends to pray.
At 9 am my mom went to get some more tea in the kitchen.
My dad and I heard grandmom gasp all of a sudden.
Rhona said it was soon. I grabbed my mom and we sat around her bed, talking to her, waiting. Rhona went to call her boss to let them know it was almost time.
We waited 7 minutes. They'd said that there would be periods of no breathing and then they'd breathe again.
Rhona came back in, and we asked her what was going on.
She checked her vitals.
Apparently she'd died at 9 when we heard they last gasp.
That's how quickly and quietly she went. It was just like she went to sleep.
It was just so natural that we still just hung out in her room talking and crying, texting and calling our family and friends till my cousin Renee pulled up.
Then Renee came in and we all knelt around grandmom's bed and prayed and thanked the Lord for what He'd done and that grandmom was with Him.

We'd been prepared for bed sores, breathing changes, her seeing things, her losing her smile.
We had none of that. She just went to sleep, in her bedroom, in the house her husband built, surrounded by her family. It was perfect. The Lord was so gracious to us.

That day was a blur after that. It took a few hours for the funeral home to pick up her body, by then my aunt and cousin had shown up and my dad's side of the family was showing up also. Then the church sent us paper goods and  tons and tons of food and friends and family came by to comfort and we all just hung out all day.

Preparing for the funeral was more emotional than I thought. I just had some things I had to deal with emotionally and not take personally and it was a little overwhelming, but the Lord carried us through. And the funeral was perfect, praise the Lord.

So the Lord was so good to us. He took grandmom home so gently. I have not a single regret about it and I'm just so thankful He gave us the strength and ability to keep her at home until the end. It was beautiful.

So my next long overdue post will be about my time away with the Lord, which I really do need to get down on here before I forget everything...ugh.

In other news: I took my grandmom's clothes to my friend Ellie's nursing home she works at as the fun coordinator. It was harder than I thought to let them go. Folding her jammies and the clothes we'd collected over the years. It hurt. But I'm glad I could take them to Ellie's nursing home and I'm asking the Lord to use it somehow for His glory.

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