This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Grains of Gratitude

What a difference a week makes.

To quote another cliché, life changes in a blink of an eye. One breath you have both feet on earth and the next breath can be drawn on the other side, hopefully in heaven, meeting the LORD.

My mother changed her address this week from a shell on earth to glory in heaven. I am grateful for the life she led and I hope I can learn from her example. After over three years of fighting with colon cancer her body had fought enough. Doctors and family agreed that there were no more avenues to try.

I received a call Wednesday afternoon and was very thankful that my bags were left packed from the previous weekend. Thursday in the late afternoon, I held her hand while she took her last breath here and her first in the light of the LORD. For that I am forever grateful.

My father showed such love and devotion and was with her for the last weeks almost without respite. He taught our family about faithfulness and commitment. How can I be anything but grateful.

My sister has been a support to me through all of this. We’ve gone from adult children to adults. Preparing funeral arrangements and such has always been our mother’s area. She and her sister always took care of “those things.” She has been by my side through this and kept me focused on what needs accomplished and we’ve even managed to laugh at good memories.

My children have been so precious and free with their love this week. They have given me something to hold on to when I really didn’t want to do much other than crawl in bed. But who can resist such sweet love? My Roo chose to say goodbye to Grandma in ICU and gave her a kiss and told her he loved her. Though my heart broke, I knew it was a gift for all of us.

My dear husband has been such a rock for me. It is with him that I am “real.” I know he knows me and there is no pretending. I can say anything. What a blessing he has been. He is giving my father a gift of playing for my mom’s funeral.

Pastor Al and his wife Ella have once again blessed our family. They are family. Without their support and guidance and comfort we would have been adrift on our little raft this week.

The ICU staff, medical professionals, doctors and all the unexpected “angels” at the hospital made my mother more comfortable, tried to do their utmost to relieve her of her ailments, and at the same time were so compassionate to us. There is no way of repaying them.

I cannot say enough about the friends and family members who have been blessing us this week with prayer, food, fellowship and hugs. To go through life alone, without the aid and blessing of people such as these would be ungrateful.

For all these and so much more, I am grateful.

Grains of Gratitude has been a gift that was started by Christine at Brady’s Bunch. When I started participating I had no idea what an outlet and blessing it would be to stop each week and remember to count my blessings. I am grateful for this too.

Hug your family today for me.

Peace, joy and comfort for the journey for this week.

21 comments:

Jennifer said...

Julie,

Just read this and wanted to let you know I am so sorry for you in the loss of your mom...but so thankful that her pain is over and thankful for all the ways that God has provided and comforted you already...and for your spirit of gratefulness through it. I went through this a couple of years ago with my dad, so I understand a bit of what you are going through. I would be glad to *chat* anytime if you need to...just drop me a comment and I'll get you my email addy or something.

I will be praying for you and your family!

(((Hugs)))

Jen
Isa. 40:11

DebD said...

(((hugs for you)))

May you have peaceful days ahead.

Amberly said...

I was not expecting to read this. I am so sorry for your loss, but you seem to be handling it with help from the Lord and your family and friends. My prayers are with you and I appreciate your grateful post. My God bless you during this time.

Amberly said...

May (not my) God bless you! :)

Wendy said...

Julie, you will continue to be in my prayers. From what you've said, it is so clear that your mom has been a huge blessing in your life, and I pray that all those memories will be a comfort to you as you grieve.

Bss said...

((((((((((Julie)))))))))))
Praying for God to wrap his comforting arms around you and your family during this time.

Karen said...

I am so sorry for your loss, but excited for your mom that she is no longer suffering, but is rejoicing!

kim said...

Dear Julie--
I am so sorry for your loss--I was wondering where you have been all week when you didn't blog after Monday. I am so glad you were able to be with your mom as she received her wings and flew to glory. What joy she is experiencing now--with no thought of all the pain she has endured.
Praying for you--
*hugs*
Kim

Coach J said...

Oh, Julie. I am so sorry! I have no words...except that I would love to just sit with you, and be with you, and hear-in person-your stories and memories and thoughts during this time. I'm so thankful you have family and friends around you to comfort you, and love you. You are certainly in my prayers at this time.
Much love...

annie said...

I'm so sorry Julie.
My prayers and sympathy go out to you and for you at this time of loss.
love,
Annie

Irritable Mother said...

Julie,
God has been loving you and your family through each other and your friends. I am so glad you have recognized His presence through it all.
Like the others, I am sorry for your loss and pray for God's peace and comfort to be yours today!
Love,
Karen

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

hi julie: so sorry for your loss. you still are in my prayers and thoughts so much lately. i'm glad you got to have the beautiful opportunity to enjoy life moments with your mama. she was blessed to know you. i am so glad to hear that you are being supported and so loved by people who you love.

thinking of you. love you friend, kathleen

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

still thinking of you and hoping for peace in your day. i sent you good mail last night. hope it makes you smile.

blessings, love, kathleen

Liza's Eyeview said...

I just read this ....

I am not good at saying something in this sensitive times, but your post exudes peacefulness and trust - it's a blessing. Yes, your mom is an a better place. However, I can understand the sorrow this brings. Check out this link. It's for your whole family .. but I think, mostly, you dad would feel this way. I'm praying for all of you.

http://lizas-eyeview.blogspot.com/2007/08/homesick-by-mercy-me.html

gemma said...

I am so sorry for your loss. What a blessing that you were there for her - not just at the last but for all the befores. My prayers go out for you and your family.

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

hi julie: thinking about ya, hope you are doing okay today. such a peaceful peaceful post you wrote here. you have a gift in this.

you're still in my prayers.

blessings friend,
kathleen

kim said...

Just wanting you to know that I am still thinking of you and hoping you are doing okay through this difficult time.
Peace to you--
Kim

Jennifer said...

Julie...

Just read your comments on my blog today, and had to come over and leave you a note. I wish I could just give you a great big hug! What you shared about buying the card made me think about having to go buy my mom an anniversary card a few months before he died because he couldn't get out...and his barely being able to sign it even then. There are *so* many things that are hard to get used to during this time. Still praying for you and here if you need to *chat*...

Jen

Leah in Iowa said...

Thanks, Julie, for your emails the past few weeks as we dealt with death in our family as well. This was a beautiful post ~ one I could definitely relate to. What a comfort to know your Mom is in heaven, and that she had the assurance of heaven even before she died. I'm sure you're longing for heaven in a different way now, huh? =)

sheryl said...

I'm so sorry to read your mother passed away! I'm thankful to read you're surrounded by a loving husband, children, sister, father and friends. I'm most thankful that your mother is with the Lord and you will see her again!
(((HUGS)), friend!

freetofly said...

Prayers. Not good at words at these times. I realize now how soon after the passing of your mother, I "met" you on here. I'll be keeping you and your family in prayers this season. Beautifully done post.