Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our Loss, Her Gain...

Today was a tough day for our family. We lost Justin's sweet grandmother, Jo, this morning. She had been put on hospice just yesterday morning and none of us were expecting her to pass away so quickly. We were all able to be there last night, and though she was sleeping, we at least got to see her one last time. The strangest part was that J and the kids and I had just been there a week ago visiting her at the assisted living home she had lived at for the past year. And she was doing really well. We were having lots of great laughs and talks as the kids were entertaining us as always. She really loved our kids. And, she always really loved us. I lost my last grandparent several years ago, but always felt as though Nammy was my own, too.

She was one of those people who is incredibly real, charming, and makes friends wherever she went. She taught elementary school for many years (and would still have former second graders stay in touch as adults), raised 4 great kids, doted on 9 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She had already started knitting for our little one on the way. She was so spunky and really truly cared about us all. I always loved being able to talk to her about parenting and teaching and hear her candid responses. She was an incredible woman, and her legacy definitely lives on in the lives of her children, grandchildren, and hopefully, great-grandchildren.

I was really nervous about sharing with the kids about her passing away. I knew I couldn't avoid it for long because they would be asking about her and wanting to visit. They got very serious when I began talking about it. They asked a lot of questions...primarily how she got to heaven. They speculated that maybe she went on a roller coaster, but then settled on the fact that Jesus carried her there. They were relieved to hear that heaven is more wonderful than any other place because you get to be with Jesus...and they were glad to know that Jesus had healed all of her "owies" and that there would be food in heaven, too. They talked about her probably dancing there because she wouldn't have to worry about her knees. T was still unsure why she couldn't just come to lunch with us today because Jesus had healed her and he wanted to see her.

And they talked a lot about how someday all of us would get to see her there again. B knew Nana (my mother-in-law) must be sad because she misses her mom and dad now, but we talked about how happy she is that Nammy is with Jesus. And really we all are. As I sit here, I am not sad for her one bit, only for us. And I am thankful for the saving grace of Christ that makes us not need to be sad or afraid. So, all in all, I was amazed at how well the kids took it and seemed to understand as best they could. I hope that Nammy knew how much she will be missed.

"I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 (NIV)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We're expecting!

SO, it's no secret, I have been seriously neglecting the blog. I have a good excuse...I have spent a good portion of the last few months either vomiting or feeling like I was going to. But, it's all for a good reason - we are expecting! And we couldn't be more thrilled! In fact, we just had our 19 week ultrasound and the doctor said that everything looks good so far. We are so excited to welcome this sweet little baby into our family. It is definitely an answer to prayer, and we continue to pray for it's on-going health.

Even though it was only 4 years ago that I was pregnant, I had forgotten a lot about it. For example, I forgot just how sick and exhausted I was for weeks 7-17. I was can't-get-off-the-couch-or-keep-my-eyes-open-except-to-get-sick kind of ill. The kids however were feeling their energetic norm. Seeing me sick at the kitchen sink didn't seem to worry them, other than the fact that it took me an extra minute or two to compose myself before I could get them their frozen waffle. Thankfully, the grandparents and some good friends have been very helpful, and J has stepped it up big time. Also, anti-nausea medication is my dear friend.

I had also forgotten just how unbelievably sweet it is to feel little baby kicks inside of you. It is pretty amazing... almost amazing enough to make me forget how awful I felt...almost. I am treasuring each little movement!

The kids are in general pretty excited about it. B wants to share her room with the baby and has come up with some pretty excellent name ideas - today's was Wonder Red if it's a boy. T definitely does NOT want to share his room. They like to come up and give it kisses and talk to it. But, I have noticed that when the grandparents give any attention to clothes or ultrasound pictures for it, they are less than happy about that. I realized I probably need to read up on how to lessen the blow of a new baby in the family...anyone have any good resources or ideas?

Nevertheless, thanks for sharing in our excitement! We appreciate your continued prayers for a healthy little one!