Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It Is Well


Suddenly my best friend Carol is losing her mother-in-law. Just like that, to cancer. Veda has never smoked; she outlived tuberculosis back in the day; she's forever been a stick of crocheting dynamite. But she got sick in September, and lost her voice, and last week the doctor found cancer everywhere in her lungs.

So beautiful to see her grown children move in, on and around her, in her modest trailer, with the photos of her kids and grandkids and greatgrandkids taped to the walls. The couch and recliner are always full of ladies crocheting, of young moms tending babies. And huge Stephen, her biggest grandson, crocheting too.

One Sunday this summer she came twinkling up to the Composer after church. "Thank you for playing those songs. I want those hymns at my funeral. The happy ones." He pulled out his ever-present Note to Self card and wrote them down, and labelled it Veda. I saw it out on his desk yesterday.

Hospice starts tomorrow. Her daughter tells me over and over, "It is well with her soul." It is.

41 comments:

Rachel said...

I'm all choked up.

What a beautiful tribute. She sounds like a wonderful woman, and you sound like you have been blessed through knowing her.

Sheila said...

Oh dear....I will be praying for a peaceful passing and for her family during this difficult time. It sounds like she knows and anticipates her eternal home.

Cheryl said...

Oh, this is so poignant. I have a friend whose body (but not her spirit) is soon to be lost to ALS, and "It is Well" is a favorite of hers also. Such a statement of bold faith. Such an inspiration.
Thank you for sharing this.

Kelley said...

Praying for sweet Veda. Just as "precious" as life is...

We'll understand it better By and By.

Laura said...

I've been reading your blog for some time. Veda is my Grandma. I wish I was there, too. It blesses me that your husband did that. Thank you for the post.

Caroline said...

Lots of prayers for her family. She sounds like a sweet, sweet woman.

Erin said...

It is always tragic to lose a friend or loved one to death, but it is also wonderful to see someone die well, surrounded by loved ones and with full faith in the Lord. I hope this difficult time brings everyone around her closer to each other and to God.

Amy said...

Oh, that is sad to hear. I'm so very glad she knows the Lord, and that she's had this time with her family.

Tracy said...

It's a tough road - at least it was with my MIL. We had three months from diagnosis to funeral. Supportive friends and family are so important. Not so much the ones who were adamant that she would be healed when it became obvious she wouldn't be.

Lilian said...

It is well indeed.
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Snowgirl said...

Hi, I found your blog through another blog. I enjoy it. I am so sorry to hear about your friend. Cancer is such a bad thing. I have been there and survived. Why do some have to go and others not? She sounds like a very sweet lady. She and her family and all of you will be in our prayers.

I have started a new blog. It is only a couple weeks old. If you'd like to stop by that would be great. The url is http://throughthewoods2.blogspot.com Take care, Janet

Goosey said...

It sounds like she is well looked after, may God Bless her. I am a nurse working in a palliative care /hospice and it is so nice to see families and friends rally round to help, and Christian families even better as they have a hope. x

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

How sad to read this. I'm sure no one will ever replace her in your life.

Kim said...

Anna,

I'm sorry to hear of your friend. I pray for her and her family as they head into this very difficult time. I pray that God will comfort all of you as only He can through Jesus Christ.

When my sister died of lung cancer this scripture brought me through. Isaiah 26:3
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you.

Lean on the Lord and he will see you through. When a friend or family member knows the Lord "it is well".

Kim

Tracey said...

Isn't it peaceful to know that you are secure in Jesus to have a home in heaven after your earthly body fails you. It is well.. with my soul. Prayers reaching out to the family!

Lisa said...

I was going to try and say something, but Erin said it already, and better than I.

This is also a little glimpse of your husband's character - God bless him.

Lisateresa

Anonymous said...

My own mother passed away from lung cancer four years ago. I am thankful that God gives peace and assurance to believers of eternity in heaven, and that He is present even now through this hard time.

Barb in Nebraska

LISA said...

A beautiful story that so many people miss out on. Being ready to face death is the most important thing we have to accomplish, followed by living the life we do have to glorify Him. It is a blessing when someone allows you to share in this sweet time when things are in order. Praying for all of you that are having to let go.

Kathy said...

Veda is a blessed woman. So are you. It is well.

Anonymous said...

Anna, life here at it's most beautiful. Mary Brooke

Tyna said...

Oh, bittersweet! Praying...

Erin said...

This is beautiful. I will be praying for Veda and her family.

The Momma Chronicles said...

How well I know the scene you've described. My mother was home with Hospice until she passed last month (also lung cancer). Beautiful, peaceful, quiet, surrounded by love, quietly slipped into the presence of her Savior.

Praying for Veda's loved ones!

leah said...

Death swallowed up in victory!

Melinda said...

Thank you for sharing this. I will be praying for this family.

Melinda

Anonymous said...

My mother passed away two years ago on Christmas Eve. At her funeral we had 'In Paradisum' from Faure's requiem. I would urge people to find it on You Tube or wherever and listen, it's very beautiful, uplifting and soothing. It's normally played as the coffin is removed from the church as part of the Catholic requiem mass, but we chose it for the opening and finished with Handel's joyful 'Spring is Coming' which my mother used to sing. Faure said of his requiem the following:

"It has been said that my Requiem does not express the fear of death and someone has called it a lullaby of death. But it is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience."

God bless Veda on her journey.

Ruth said...

How wonderful to know that she is going where no sickness will EVER touch her again!I am praying for Veda,Carol,and the rest of their family.And for you.

Kate said...

Beautiful, sorrowful, and a big Amen. Thank you for sharing something so touching.

Tanya said...

What a small world. I know part of Veda's family. The stories that I've been reading about Veda lately have been blessing me so much. She has a wonderful family - one that I've often (only half jokingly) said I'd like to be adopted into, and one that teaches what a loving, Godly family is through their every day words and actions. It amazes me how many lives this one woman has touched. Your Composer has a kind heart.

Christine said...

Veda is BLESSED!
Her family is blessed to have her ready and waiting.
The Composer is ready, also.

All is well...

seashoreknits said...

Dear Anna - please tell Carol that we are so sorry to hear the news about her mother. Veda is so blessed to be surrounded by family and friends at this oh-so-important time of her life. She gave the Composer a gift by giving him something now that he can DO. You, too, have something to do by being such a comfort to your friend. May God continue to bless you all.

Mrs. MK said...

News like this always stings. And brings certain fear...quick to be chastised by the Spirit's reminders.

Blessings on this dear saint and her arrival to Jesus' arms!

Sew Blessed Maw said...

May God bless Veda this day and her wonderful family. May He comfort each of them through the hard ,difficult days ahead.. and oh what Glory awaits this wonderful friend that you described.
You know, I would love to be described this way. when friends remember me..
Thankyou for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Veda is my Mama. These days of illness and deterioration I've dubbed "grace days". They are a gift from the Lord. That He would give us a "head's up" is such a mercy, I think. We have a very large family and extended family. So many of us have been led to the Throne of Grace by Mama. It means so much to me to know that so many of you are praying for our family. My oldest brother is also fighting for his life in California. Please, would you pray for him too? His name is Tommy. Anna--thank you, thank you, thank you. I love your heart.
Ruthie

Alicia said...

So sorry that such a lovely lady will soon be missing from your daily life, but what an amazing testimony to a life well-lived. Praying that Jesus takes her gently.

Alicia said...

Dear Ruthie,

I will indeed remember your brother in my prayers, and you as well. Grace to you as you walk with your loved ones through the valley of the shadow with your eyes fixed on our great Hope.

Polly said...

Lung cancer took my sweet grandma, talented seamstress and kindred spirit, 14 years ago. Oh, it is hard.

I love that hymn. I love that the Composer has put her mind at ease--the music will be wonderful. And music is such a great comfort to family and friends at a funeral, I think.

Fiona said...

So beautifully written.

Susan said...

Thank you for sharing the hope we have in death and the promise of eternal life though Christ. I miss those old hymns and how comforting they are during times of walking though the shadow of death. It is indeed well.

Angela said...

May God comfort Veda and her family and friends as she passes thru the Valley of the Shadow.
And bless the Dear Composer for remembering about her choice of music

Farrah said...

Carol, if you read this, your family has my deepest sympathies. Your Mother-in-love seems like a lovely lady.

What a blessing the Composer will be for her.

May God give each of you peace.

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