Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Life Happens

In December, a faithful reader asked why I hadn't posted anything for a few months. Well, Life Happens. In August we had spent a wonderful two weeks with the grandsons (and their parents!) in Puerto Rico. In Septmenber I started getting a small pain in my side, that by the beginning of November had become a LARGE side pain, and extremely sick me! I spent many nights laying on the bathroom floor, and a visit to the ER that my brother and his wife graciously excused the horrible emissions that erupted from my weakened body that night. (Did I say I was sorry, Scott and Linda?) Well, Life happens. I had a nice visit with a GI doctor that scoped me from one end to the other (I was due anyway, being a tad bit over 50 now) and reported that other than a tiny polyp that they biopsied to be sure, everything looked great! My abdominal ultrasound was awesome (her words), so, I was assured all was well. Then, Life continued to happen. I layed on the couch in pain on the saturday morning after my scopes 3 days earlier, and dear hubby just knew something was missing. He called nice GI doctor, and she guessed treating for parasites seemed logical, since after all, he reminded her, I had been in africa three times and puerto rico once in the past year. So, after twisting her arm and crying, she agreed to give me a strong antibiotic that would wipe out anything foreign that was living inside me and making me feel like I was dying. The good news is, within 6 hours of the medicines I FELT GREAT for the first time in months!! So my faithful reader asked, why not blog and catch up? Well, Life Happened again. Things like, even though I felt terrible, Tyler turned 16. Then Gborlee celebrated his first American birthday by turning 5. Then Nicole turned 15, then Jenni turned 29, then thanksgiving (the first without dad). Then I got word that there were, in fact, no "monsters living inside me," and I was welcome to finish the expensive prescription that had, for some unknown reason cleared all my pain and symptoms...We were blessed to have all my siblings and their kids and their kids kids here for Christmas eve. One busy, huge gathering, (over 40 now!) which I always look forward to. Mere turned 9 and even midst all the holiday festivities, we had a fun party at her favorite pizza place. And then, instead of having a big New Years Eve party, we decided to slow down, enjoy the cold outside while we sat by the fire inside, and we just let Life Happen. New Years Day my cousin Mindy came over with TACO's for dinner and we laughed and chatted and even made a midnight run to McDonalds for ice cream. Now I realize in the midst of Life Happening, that was mom's last hurrah. The next day, sitting by the fire and crocheting, mom said she felt tired and was going to lay down. She had been having a few chest pains, but this time, they came hard enough to stop her. She left my house for the last time in an ambulance, but was still making jokes with the kind EMT's that took her. We met up at the hospital in time for her heart catherization, and bolstered our hearts for the "there is nothing we can do now..." talk. She was transfered to a room, made comfortable, and we all said goodnight. The next morning we realized she had suffered a large stroke, which now we realized was the beginning of the end. This was dying. But that is how Life Happens. Mom had the opportunity to tell us all goodbye in the few days that followed. We had some crazy laughs, some beautiful moments together, and we faced the future. We had promised her she would never be alone, and we encouraged her to join Dad. The last words I had with her I will always treasure. She asked, again, "Am I dying, Faithy?" I stood at the end of her hospital bed, with nieces and family around, and said, "Yes momma. You are." She looked at me and said, "Then why are you crying?" Well, because in the midst of Life Happening, I knew I was losing her. The one who I cried with, and spent the last seven months staying frustrated with! The mom who loved me even when I was unlovable for the last 52 years, and shared my passion for the orphans of the world. The one who taught me sarcasm, but also how to love someone who was not "bone of my bone." The one who knew how to make fun in normal life situations, because with all she had been through, she knew, Life Happens. Why am I crying? "because I am going to miss you mom." After that, she spent a few days slowly slipping farther away. She was ready, and we gave her permission to go. She ended her life at Hospice House, believing she was safe and sound in the arms of Jesus, envisioning with our human eyes, all that she could be seeing with her new heavenly eyes. A new, faultless body, robed in pure white, shining with the stars! Eternity. Grace flowed. Life had happened. We celebrated her life, laughing, crying, in the same church mom and dad married in, and we all said our last goodbyes. It was cold at the graveside, but we knew she was not there. We celebrated a life well lived, a goodbye that was in God's perfect timing, and we buried the shell that we had only known as mom. Because once Life Happened, Death was inevitable. And it is okay. Our life continues to happen. Tara turned 11, with a celebration at the same pizza place. We missed gramma being there. We sort thought her things and prepare to sell their home. We each treasure things differently, and remember her by what we choose. I wish I had hugged her more. I plan to hug everyone else in my life more because of it. I will miss her. An awful amount. But, Life Happens. I am packing for another trip to Africa. I am taking a couple suitcases of supplies to more orphans. I intend to hug alot. For mom. For me. For Jesus sake. I have a new grandson, Kainoa Seraphin Kanda Cameron, coming home any day now from the DRC. In our pain and suffering, in our joy and sorrow, our hope and forever days ahead, Life keeps happening. In our lives, in our kids lives, in our family lives, in our friends lives. Our son got a fabulous job and is headed back to the states. Our daughter in Oregon has been on call to help him out through this adoption process. Our daughter in town has been a rock to all of us as, well, Life Happens. Life, precious life. You lived it well, mom. You died as gracefully as dad. No regrets. So as long as I live, I hope to live it well. In honor of my parents, Thomas and Bonnie Meador. As you both rest in peace, surrounded by the glory of your heavenly Father, I will continue to do all I can to love, serve, and well, LIVE. Or, LIVE WELL. Because Life Happens.