|My beautiful mom only 4 months ago at my son’s 6th b-day party.|
|My mom and dad with her brother (far left) and his wife as well as my son, daughter and nephew (about 3.5 years ago)|
A few days later she went home…a little early I felt…but home she came nonetheless. The docs/nurses kept saying it’s good to get out of the hospital less you catch something else! A little for-shadowing. For a few days she started to eat a few bites of food, but shortly there after, her abdomen started filling with fluid. It was so weird! My dad took her up early for a post-op apt because she wasn’t wanting to eat anymore and was so huge and uncomfortable. The surgeon just looked at her and basically said, it’s acides (cancer fluid) and to play strong for Monday’s apt with the oncologists so perhaps you can start chemo early. He didn’t do an ultrasound, check her blood or anything. For the past few weeks I’ve been so angry at that doctor. But now, I realize it was a blessing in disguise because if they would have done those tests, they would have kept her in Portland…an hour from my dad, their home, church and friends. The Lord works even in what seems bad in order to turn them around for good.
Over the next week, her abdomen continued to fill and needed to be emptied almost daily. Her blood pressure continued to plummet, we were in this crazy cycle and none of the doctors could figure it out. I would get texts and calls in the middle of the night. It was as if at anytime she could go. I literally felt like we had zero control and were in a corner and no body knew what was going on. They’d empty her (taking her nutrients with it) and her blood pressure would drop. They’d leave it and she wouldn’t eat and her kidneys would be in trouble because it was too much. We prayed constantly for wisdom. The docs were baffled because the kind of cancer she had didn’t produce fluid like that…and it was full of infection…and the antibiotics weren’t doing anything. Yes…looking back, the Lord’s merciful hand was there guiding every step.
A week or so after being in the hospital, they realized she had a heart defect…a leaky valve…totally separate from the cancer but they felt could have been caused from years of cancer and blood pressure issues. Again, she had signs for this defect over the past year or two…but we never realized that’s what it was. What had started happening was after the surgery, as her body weakened, so did that valve. It couldn’t keep up with the blood flow, so some of the fluid/blood it was trying to pump would fall back into the body. Now we had another big problem…that couldn’t be fixed…she couldn’t do another surgery…it was the perfect storm.
So, for the next week, nutrition became the biggest issue. She still wasn’t eating much at all. We kept thinking if she could eat, she could heal faster and get stronger and the heart valve would do a better job and then she could eventually do chemo. That was our hope. During this time I was spending as much time as I could with her and my husband was taking the slack. Oh, I am so thankful for him and the ways he held us all together. He was such a strength to me and I praise the Lord for him. I was able to hold her, love on her and just be a presence in the room for her…what tender moments!
|My mom and dad with their grand kids about 5 years ago|
Wednesday at the hospital consisted of visits from several of her doctors. They all came in to say how much they enjoyed meeting mom and how sorry they were. My mom ministered to every one of them. She told them about her Jesus and her walk with Him and how she knew where she was going. Until the end, my mom tried to comfort everyone else!! She had such peace. I asked her at one point what I could do for her and she said, “I need to write everyone at church a note to tell them how much I love them and how much they mean to me! I want to know all the names of the nurses and doctors so I can tell them thank you for their help!” That’s my mom…thinking of how she can love on and comfort others!! She touched and loved everyone she met. What an incredible example to me!! I pray I can do that more…share Jesus with such boldness and love!
We moved her home Thursday morning and the Lord gave us the most beautiful day! Mom had been staring at a white board for the past 13 days in the hospital…without being able to see out her tiny window. My sister was with her during transport and had the guys pull over and stop for a few minutes when my mom’s face was in the sun…she was LOVING feeling the sun on her face! A gift from her Lord. We placed her in the front room of her house, in front of the big windows, so she could see out over the fields and her beautiful flowers. It was beautiful! She looked like she was so happy to be home…she had a peace about her which was wonderful. It was another gift and confirmation we were doing the right thing!! I thank Jesus for those doctors who helped guide us through that hard decision. It was exactly where she wanted and needed to be!!
|My mom with Raquelle about 5 years ago…oh she loved her babies!|
Saturday afternoon and evening was long…but again, precious. We were petitioning with the Lord to take her home. I wanted to leave so many times. I wanted to curl up in the arms of my husband and the comfort of my home. It was so hard to be there…but I knew I needed to be there. Janet stayed with her Saturday night because I was so exhausted and needed to get a few hours of sleep. We all got up Sunday morning a little depressed. We were SO tired and completely exhausted. We just couldn’t figure out why the Lord hadn’t taken her yet. We joked that maybe she was waiting for the Lord’s day…it was mom’s favorite day of the week. I read some scripture over breakfast and told Janet and dad I felt this was a spiritual battle. We battle not against flesh and blood, but principalities. The enemy would want us to be discouraged and depressed. We needed to pray against that! My dad called one of his Shepherding group leaders that morning and told them we needed people to pray the Lord takes her home today. That they should not be angry or discouraged, but to pray with us that she would be delivered into her new home. Their shepherding group meets between 11am-12pm. After my dad hung up, Janet said, “Watch…she’s going to go home to be with the Lord between 11-12!” We all smiled thinking that would be so cool! She LOVED her shepherding group…loved the people, loved Sundays!!! How fun would that be I thought!
Around 11:30 we were sitting with mom, praying, reading scripture, Janet and I were singing. We could tell mom’s heart rate was slowing and things were shifting a bit. My dad was looking at pics of my mom and said, “She should have her make-up on!” My mom LOVED wearing make-up! She used to do a lot of modeling when she was young and would never be seen without her red lips!! She even had my dad put on her red lips before my brother saw her! Oh, mom…I love you! Anyway, I had JUST been thinking that and was about ready to say that when he said it first. Janet immediately said “I was thinking the same thing!!!” Oh the Lord knows how to speak into people’s heart when it’s going to bring about His purpose! I love that!
No more pain no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place
Will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
It was perfect! Janet and I held each other singing those sweet lyrics knowing there were no more tears, no more pain, no more burdens…that she was face to face with her sweet Savior in His sweet arms!! It was powerful, beautiful and perfect.
I called my brother and he and I laughed…Jared said, “Mom could never leave the house without her make-up on!” It was also the first day of fall…her absolute favorite time of the year. The Lord was involved in every detail!! Earlier I had cried out Lord why is she still here…why haven’t you taken her home?! And He answered me in those moments…He said, “Because I have a perfect plan! I’m in every detail of your life, I care about every moment. I see every tear and every hurt.” His timing might not be in our timing…but it’s always perfect, beautiful and right. He cares about how the lilies of the field are clothed and how my mom would enter the kingdom of Heaven. It overwhelmed me to feel that truth deep in my heart. He loves us, He cares about every detail and His plans are perfect! He loved my mom so much and had these final days perfectly planned to bless us all. He is so faithful!
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
Until we see each other again, I will always love you…forever!
|My mom and dad with my three kiddos and nephew Jordan, 4 months ago celebrating my son’s b-day.|