Monday, February 25, 2008

What Helped Me

I have been thinking today about what, besides the obvious (wonderful hospice workers, supportive family, and God's grace), helped the most through these three weeks.

• Tamiflu.
• A large bedroom, big enough for a little seating area, with an en-suite bathroom that was accessible with a walker. If I ever build a house, a room like this will be a top priority. Felix gave up his room without a fuss.
• Barb in Nebraska's comment at the very beginning that said, "You can do this, Anna." I hung on to those words.
• Learning how to use a draw sheet to turn and lift a person in bed.
• A large supply of twin-size cotton sheets, ordered providentially right before Christmas.
• A large, sturdy, lightweight tray.
• A brother and sister-in-law who were not shy about simply showing up, gently pushing us out of the sickroom, then taking over the kitchen to prepare and serve a fabulous dinner. Which they then cleaned up after.
• People who announced they were bringing over food that could sit in the fridge until needed.
• A teenager who was willing to drive to the drugstore any time.
• Elyse's words at the very beginning: that this would be a short time. I took that to mean that however long it lasted, it would be short in the grand scheme of my life. I think it also meant that it would never be long enough.


Stacey Newton said...

Your blog is very inspiring a beautiful. I was quite moved by the image of your grandmother with a child. It was incredible- I thank you for sharing it with us. Blessings to you and yours during this difficult time.

YayaOrchid said...

What a beautiful picture of Daisy and your Grandmother! The word that came to my mind was 'Seasons'.
Little Daisy in the Spring of her life, and your Grandmother in the Winter of hers.

" To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted"


YayaOrchid said...

Edited to include Source of Scripture:

What a beautiful picture of Daisy and your Grandmother! The word that came to my mind was 'Seasons'.
Little Daisy in the Spring of her life, and your Grandmother in the Winter of hers.

" To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted"
Ecclesiastes 3


Davene said...

What a wonderful picture--with the light around your grandmother's head. I'm sure Daisy will treasure it when she's older. Even if she doesn't remember much of this time... And you, of course, will treasure it as you ponder all this in your heart.

Tracy said...

This picture is priceless, and I know that it will be cherished by both you, and Daisy for many, many years to come.

What a sweet list. You must be tired. Take time for some quiet. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Brambleberry said...

Such bittersweetness. I was present at the death of my grandmother, and happening upon your blog in the last few weeks brought back a flood of memories.

I think you have given your children a wonderful gift. Enduring hard times as a family...loving, the self sacrificing kind of love, is best learned by example.

I never before knew that death could be a lovely thing. When Nana died, with all of us around her, there was such peace. And sadness. And celebration.

I wish you all those same beautiful things. I'll be praying that God will usher you and yours through what is to come.

Anonymous said...

You are such a wise young woman, Anna. You are a blessing to many; especially the way you have taught your children by example the very essense of love and care.
The picture of your Grandmother and Daisy is a picture of love.

Lana/from across the Missouri border~

Susie said...

God bless you and your family for taking such wonderful care of your Grandmother. I pray God blesses you today and in the days to come. Thank you for being such a beautiful example to us.

Patty said...

What a beautiful courageous soul you are. You have honored your Grandmother and celebrated her life regaurdless of how painful it was. Another real magnolia. God Bless, you and your family in the final days of seeing your adorable Grandmother to her eternal home. Patty

Frogdancer said...

Sometimes the most prosaic things mean the most. I've been thinking about you on and off all day. Such a lovely photo.

Polly said...

Marvelous photo, excellent post. Thank you for sharing so much, and for being so good to your dear grandmother.

Bev said...

You have been on my mind and heart all day. Continuing to pray for your family through this final saying goodbye.

Anonymous said...

You have done so well (with God's help)A special but difficult time.My husband and son are attending/visiting his mother/grandmother (she lives 8 hours away)in hospital after having a stroke. My son has learnt many things over the last few days.A blessing to take care of your dear Grandmother in your home.
God Bless, Angela (Australia)
Angela (Australia)

Beth said...

Oh Anna,

You did something so special for your grandmother. You surrounded her with love. What a wonderful way to pass from this life to the next.

M said...

Strength comes to us when we really need it. Your blog and the life and stories your share are such an inspiration. And the strength and love that pours out between all the lines and through all the beautiful pictures... well, I believe and know that it is inspired by God. I am glad I found your blog.

Lisa said...

Your words are so beautiful. This post brought a flood of tears. It really made me miss my Grandmother who lived with us when I was young, for the last month of her life. My mother, just as you did, taught her children the true meaning of love and how precious every moment of life is.
Bless you and your family.

April said...

You continue to be in my prayers. God bless you and yours in this time of grief and loss. May you find comfort and peace in memories.

Tracy said...

I'm sorry I didn't see this earlier Anna. I'm sorry for your great loss. I pray that you will find comfort as you go through the next days and weeks.

Anonymous said...

Our precious Heavenly Father promises us in Isaiah 66:13a "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you." May His peace, that passes all understanding, be yours in this time of grief.

Anonymous said...

A precious photo!

Anonymous said...

I truely beleive this is the best example of how to honor our parents/grandparents. I have struggled with the present world view of institutionalizing old age and death and your story is a beautiful unfolding of the blessings God bestows on those who answer the call of honor. May I have the courage and stuborn strength to do the same when that blessing falls on my lap. Love Rosa from Manitoba, Canada

Anonymous said...

I have thought about you and your grandmother so much the past few days. I hadn't been able to stop by and read up on how things were going. This morning when I thought to check in, I was hoping I would get to see a picture of your grandmother. Thank you for sharing!

God bless you and your family during this time. You will be in my prayers!

Take care,

Amy said...

What a gift you are to your family and what a gift your friends are to you! I love this picture- just beautiful!

Anonymous said...

The innocence of youth, the surrender of age. How many of us would sit and pose for a photo in our comfy pajamas. I see the results of all the love, care and contentment of the moment in their eyes. "How lovely are the feet of those that bring good news." And it is good news that one of God's own was so lovingly taken care of by one of God's own. And only eternity will tell the whole story~just how much our selfless acts of kindness mean to the One who sees all of life's deeds. This season of your life is coming to an end, the next season begins with a wide open sheet of paper to fill.
Be Blessed and be a Blessing.

Mrs. Rabe said...

Your picture reminded me of my sweet Sarah and my grandmother, her great grandmother. They liked to sit together like this, and watch movies!

You will never regret taking such precious care of your grandmother.

God's blessing on your family, Anna.

Anonymous said...

Jude 25
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.

Your friend in Nebraska,

Anonymous said...

well done good and faithful servant

LinesFromTheVine said...

I am so touched by your words and so inspired by your actions in helping your Grandmother. Thank you so much for sharing this experience with all of us.


Jen said...

I think your (or Giles') camera should be on that list too! How thankful you will be in days ahead to have captured those last images of your dear grandma with your children and in your home just before she entered heaven. God is good!

Anonymous said...

Anna, you and your family have been in my heart. Your grandmother's picture is so like my grandmother. She lived with us before her death some five years ago. She could not do anything for herself, however, her mind and wit was sharp and bright. The days were sometimes long, but that tiredness was replaced with the joy of having her company. She and our 14 year old son became buddies - those memories are so precious. I have thought of you much these past few weeks, of your fatigue and yet knowing the blessings and memories that you will forever have.

Take care,

AmeliaB said...

Prayers or coming your way! Simply know that I hope for healing and peace for your family.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful picture one I am sure you will treasure.

Prayers to all,


Deidre said...

Continuing to pray for you and your family!

Jen said...

I dont comment much over here....but read you all the time. Watching you go through this broke my heart. You inspired me, your grace is beautiful.
God is with you.

Shannen said...

I hope all of our comments on Sunday helped too!

Continuing to pray for your family.

Shelley said...

Hello Anna, my name is Shelley. Wanted to say , how very sorry I am for the loss of your dear grandmother. I went through a hospice time with my MIL. It was a very sad time and heart breaking. She passed with all her children and grandchildren around her bedside.
I will be praying for your peace and comfort from God's Holy Spirit.


Kimmie said...


May God bless your heart as you empty yourself and allow the Hand of God to fill it.

You are such an inspiration to me and to countless others, who stop at various times in our day to see what your hands are busy at.

Certainly this period of your life, that your hands found about your beautiful Grandmother, will be precious to you and your family. I continue to pray that His spirit guides you and speaks the depths of His never-failing Love over your hurting places.

I am sorry for your loss Anna.


Heidi said...

Thanks for sharing all of your thoughts about your grandmother. I'm sure that it was an incredible, spiritual experience to be with her in the evening of life.

Laurie Hall said...

Our daily life is beautiful. Keep celebrating everyday !

Mrs. Pickles said...

God will never be outdone in generosity. May He bless you abundantly for the sacrifices you've made to surround your grandmother with so much love.

Nomadic said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. (((Hugs))) Hospice was a Godsend for my family as well in 2004.

You picked a lovely photo to commemorate your Grandmother and her importance to your family. Your daughter will treasure it forever.

Melissa in FL

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