Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Catching my Breath

Our lives have been so busy the past few weeks and I feel like I finally have time to stop and catch my breath!  This will be quite a long post! 

First of all, like I had mentioned in my previous post, we had 3 children living with us for a while.  They ended up living here for about a month.  Talk about changing things overnight!  It was quite an adjustment going from just Brad and I to an instant family of 5!  I know now why so many of my friends say that at the end of the day all they want to do is lay in bed and be quiet!  It took effort for me to make sure that my "quality time loving" husband, got his quality time!  We talked about it alot, and he was very understanding.  The whole experience was good prep for the foster care process that will be coming our way in the next few weeks!  Speaking of that, we have finished our training classes and this week we have our individual interviews.  Then we need to have our home approved and then we wait for a call!  I am so glad that the bulk of it is finished. 

So Rosie came home from the hospital on a Thursday and she thought maybe it would be fun for the kids to be able to spend the weekend with her.  Brad and I had the weekend to ourselves and we did nothing other than relax and sleep in!  Sunday we picked up the children and they did not want to come home with us.  I sure didn't blame them.  I felt so bad to put them through the trauma of being shuffled around again, but Rosie just wasn't ready to have them with her full time yet. 

That week was tough.  The kids were each sick at some time or another.  We had planned to move them back permanently that Thursday but decided to do it Wednesday instead.  Wednesday morning I woke up to Merle throwing up all over the bathroom.  He spent the rest of the day on the couch and didn't want to eat anything all day.  I meanwhile was busy getting all their stuff together to move.  Thankfully Haley played by herself pretty good that day.  Around 11 I got a call from Brad that went something like this..."Hey Honey, don't freak out but I am on my way to the E.R in Ephrata".  Well, I of course "freaked out".  What's a wife supposed to do after all.  My day was packed full already and now my dear husband was in the E.R.  "Aunt Becky" (Friend of Rosie and I) came to the rescue because the last thing I felt like doing was packing up the kids and taking them to the E.R. with me especially with Merle being so sick.  She came to be with the children so I could go.  Brad ended up getting 7 stitches just above his knee.  He had been running a grinder thing at work and it kicked back into his knee.  He had some pain but the main thing was that he was not allowed to bend his knee untill the stitches get removed. 

The thing that made this worse was that this happened about 2 weeks after he had shot a nail through his hand!  That also required a trip to the E.R. and time off of work.  Then, after not being able to remember the last time he was sick, he got strep throat and was off of work for almost a week.  Now this.  Somehow God always provides though...

After I got him home, we got the kids all bathed and ready to go home.  They didn't know it but Rosie had a big welcome home party planned for them!  What fun they had with all their cousins.  They were so glad to be home again.  All but Merle....he was still sick and spent most of the evening laying on his Mom's bed.  He wanted to come back home with us, but I knew he would be fine.  Rosie gave us a Wii gaming thing for taking care of her children!  We definitely weren't expecting anything.  After lots of hugs to the kids, we left the party.  Brad knew he wasn't going to be working the next day because of his injury so we ended up staying up late and playing with our new toy!

Thursday morning, I headed down to my moms.  Brad and I planned on moving in there for a week to take care of my grandmother while my parents went to Florida.  My Mom's nephew was getting married and my parents needed the break!  My grandma had fallen the Sunday before and broke her arm in 2 places.  Her health had been declining the past month or 2 but this really sent her spiraling.  When I got to Mom's at 9:45, I knew Mommie didn't look good but my parents were still planning on going to Florida.  I knew they needed to get away so I reassured Mom that we would make sure Mommie was taken care of.  Hospice nurses were coming in to help with her care. 

About 30 minutes later when I went back in to check on my grandma, I noticed a huge difference in her breathing.  I told my mom that I think she is dying.  The nurse confirmed that she is really going down hill and could possibly die that day.  What a shock!  We called my dad and my aunt.  Till all was said and done, she passed into Glory about an hour later.  I was so so glad that I could be there by her side when she died.  She breathed hard for a while, then shallow breaths, closed her eyes, took another breath or 2, and was gone.  It was so peaceful.  The rest of the day was a blur of funeral plans, notifying family, and grieving.  My grandma had lived with my parents for 6 1/2 years and I have many many special memories of her. 

Most of my moms family was in Florida for the upcoming wedding.  We decided to wait until Tuesday to have the funeral.  Many of them had planned on spending the week after the wedding in Florida on vacation.  My brother and his family were there and hadn't planned to come home until Saturday after the wedding.  My brother and 2 of my cousins ended up flying home just for the funeral and then back to Florida to their families. 

My grandma had all of her funeral plans made.  Long ago, she had made her clothing to be buried in.  She was still Old Order Amish and typically, they get buried in the clothes that they got married in.  My grandma had made all new clothes.  She had them in a box with the label "Death Clothes".
Inside the box, she had everything neatly arranged. 

There was also a baggie with a note and a hankie in it.  The note read:
"Girls, Fold this hankie in my hand like my Sister Naomi.  Yes, I put her hankie in her hand. How we cried when we visited"
My grandma's sister Naomi passed away a few years ago.  She was my grandmas closest sister.  Their husbands were the first to die in their family, so of her many sisters, they shared common struggles.  My grandma had also made many of her grandaughters hankies to use at her funeral.  I remember when she gave mine to me a few years ago.  She embroidered black around the edge of a white hankie.  I had hoped to never have to use it...

The funeral service itself was beautiful.  Yes, it was Old Order Amish, but I loved the whole cultural aspect of it.  They were so so nice to us and worked with us well in having things the way Mommie wanted it.  She had in her plans that she would like to have a certain preacher from Ohio preach at her funeral.  They arranged it and he spoke a powerful sermon.  Most of it was in Dutch but I could understand lots of it.  He spoke on the Holy Spirit and how wihtout the Holy Spirit in your life "It shofts net" (It doesn't work).  I was so surprised to hear such a sermon from an Old Order Amish preacher.

I took a few pics at the graveside.  I kept my camera in my coat pocket and snuck a few pics when no one was looking!

Her funeral was a week ago today.  I still can't believe that she's gone.  It still seems like she should be sitting on the couch at her usual spot at my parents.  Every time I would walk in the door, she would greet me with "Well hello there Miss America"!   She will be greatly missed...

This week my mom started going through some of her things.  Most of her stuff was sold at auction before she moved in with my parents.  Mom gave me this piece of furniture and told me that Mommie wanted me to have it.  I was one of her namesakes and she had things put aside for us.  I will always think of her when I see it...
Looking back over the past 2 weeks, I so see God's hand in it.  The timing of Mommie's homegoing was perfect after all. 

1.I am so thankful that we moved the children home on Wednesday because I would have had to try and do that after Mommie died. 

2.  My parents were not on the bus in the way to Florida when she died.  I can't imagine if Mommie would've died and I would've been there alone with her.

3.  Yes, it was inconvenient timing because of the wedding, and yet, that gave us time to have her body at my parents house on Sunday.  Mom had always wanted to have more of an informal viewing there. Many of our church family and friends were there on Sunday and it was alot more personal.

4.  My dad was not pressured with work.  He didn't have any work planned that week, thinking they would be in Florida!

While we will miss Mommie so much, we are so glad she's in a better place.  It is so good to see the stress lifted off of my mom.  She had alot to deal with in taking care of her mother especially in the past few months.  Wilma and I are so glad to have "our Mom" back!  It's fun to see my parents with an empty nest for the first time.  I am so thankful for the many, many memories I have of her...