- in May we sold our house. We praised the Lord for that. It really did feel like HIS TIMING. (so why am I wondering now if it really was?)
- July - we worked like a "mad" family - packing, purging, packing more and moving. We praised God for the help of our kids, and our many good and dear friends and sister and brother-in-law who came and worked hard in some high temps! We worked till literally "the eleventh hour" .... we praised God for the help! My biggest and saddest regret as Alvin and I took the last few things in the dark... I had wanted to do two things that never happened. One was to walk one last time in the back - past the altar I had put up to praise God with, and as a memorial to his faithfulness, and TWO was to walk one last time down SPRINGFIELD ROAD where many hours and talks happened as a family and as a couple and as just me! Neither happened. Those are my two regrets. Oh well.
- August 1 - we moved into the loft at our kids place... and really didn't get a chance to even think through the move (after 27 years in one place, I figure I should have spent some day mourning this move?) and next thing we knew Mom was in the hospital.
- August 10 - October 13: a bit of a blur. Mom was close to death a few times, and brought around with some aggressive drug intervention. I think by the time I was done with parking meters/passes, the total was a couple hundred in parking alone. I loved loved LOVED being able to spend time with Mom but I know I did not take care of myself during this time. Long days at a bedside... emotionally involved in letting her go (she has been mom to me just a couple years less than my real mom!) My exercise was haphazard at best. My eating was more in line with "comfort food"... you know.... stuff that is usually not the best for you! Coffee was too available!
- Sept 15 I took a resume in and applied for a part-time job. The closing date was the 16th. I did not hear for a month, and then out of the blue - got a call - come in for an interview! Go figure. Here I had thought God had decided it was not the right timing.
- October 13th - Mom came home to her place. As we drove home it was like she was seeing things for the first time. Everything seemed new. She was glad to get back home, although we were not sure what her timeline was. It was our desire to allow her to be at home - as long as pain was kept under control.
- October 19th - had the interview. Was told that if I got the job - would likely hear that Friday (being the 23rd). Friday came and gone.... no word. Guessed I didn't get the job. That was okay... cause I was not sure how long Mom would need care, cause at this point she was still getting around. AND I had a holiday planned with our kids. God knew.
- October 21st - pain was back - and the extra strength Tylenol was not cutting it. Called the palliative care nurse and began giving mom hydra morphine under the tongue
- October 22nd - pain was not controlled sufficiently, so Doctor came, changed method of giving her the drug (now we put it into a little port that was placed under her skin. We began this new method, and mom's pain was now managed. However her weakness increased with each day.
- During the next days, Mom spoke less and slept more. When I prayed with her - she sometimes spoke - one time saying "YES LORD" when I asked "Lord, please take her now." After praying with her I would recite her favorite scripture - Psalm 23. Right up until Monday night - she still said some of the words. She was not fearful - she said this.
- Monday night - October 25 - after returning to stay for the night, I read from her Bible and read through the Psalms, one by one.... her facial expression and body language from time to time, seemed to acknowledge that she indeed did hear the Word being spoken - and believed it. I was also able to tell Mom that we loved her, that she had been a good Mom, and that she could go, that we would be okay. How hard that was, and yet how important it felt that I needed to do it.
- Tuesday night - October 26th - as I kissed Mom good-bye and prayed with her... she did not respond. Somehow I had a sense her time was close, as when I said good-nite, I said "BYE MOM" instead of the usual " bye mom - see you in the morning." Elleanore was staying the night since I had stayed the night before.
- Later that night - actually at about 1:30 am - Elleanore phoned to say that Mom had just died. I wept. I rejoiced. Better for Mom, but so sad for us.
So.... amidst funeral plans, I also had a hair app. I was telling my stylist (who is not a believer of Jesus, but her heart is soft) that so much had happened... about Mom (who she knew) and about the job resume, interview and not hearing. I said to her "Guess it was not the right timing, but God knows all that." Honestly, not even 10 minutes later, as I was being "bagged" (because I had a color done) it was the call saying - that I was being offered the job!! I thanked God.... HIS TIMING. I am to start on the 15th after our trip was done.
YA... on top of this - toss in the trip that we had talked about since winter, and planned for October 31st. What should we do about this? I had told the Lord all about my apprehensions about this - even though our Klassen family was all saying we needed to still go.... I just prayed about Mom - and about God taking her and not letting her suffer... and about HIS timing with all of it. Because Ashley was starting her second new job (working two new part-time jobs) it meant we could not postpone... and my new job... As it worked, Mom passed away on the 27th, and her funeral and burial was on the 30th and we left for our trip as a family, on the 31st. God's TIMING? I think it is all pretty obvious.
Which now brings me to today... that old but family feeling that is back. Something I recognize as old and vaguely familiar! While we were gone - it was so easy to imagine just running away - leaving it all behind - being with your kids together - and with our little grandson. Endless sun... relaxation...not to mention family time... oh, and the buffets! It was amazing but honestly it is not real life right? You can only run away from the over-fullness of life for so long!
While on holidays, the things of the past are put on hold for your return. And no matter how amazing it was - we were ready to return and face reality again. And believe me - it is a FULL reality... with more things, and more stressors than I will even add here! But that is life right? STRESS is part of life I was told once... but how you manage it - that is the biggie. So I have to figure that out. And really, I do know what I need to know. (And my conversation with Elizabeth through SKYPE this morning - affirmed it for me, thanks E.)
In the meantime - I will continue to rejoice in what God has given me in the here and now - and thank Him for what He has given me in the past - which includes a strong legacy of faith handed down from my parents and Alvin's parents - and a strong history of faithfulness of God in their lives and our lives. He has also given me a strong body that wakes each morning... and I truly am grateful! These past few months - okay, past couple years have continued to shape me/break me/stretch me.... but, I am still grateful that God, my God, is in full control.
I am so weak. But HE (my Jesus) is so strong. I sing that song to Ev sometimes... "My God is so Big, so strong and so mighty... there's nothing my God can not do!" Gotta take that to heart - especially when life gets to feeling a little overwhelming - because that only tries to rob my peace and my joy!
God - this is your day! And this, THIS is my life. Thank-You.