Sometimes life just gets hard and things get messy. You can have the most put-together home and homemade meals every night all while getting your baby to bed on schedule and yet sometimes God allows things to happen. Norah actually showed me this while playing outside today. She has a newfound joy of getting dirty. With a smile on her face, she is frantically shaking her hands in the rock pile and trying to say “circle” as she wants me to draw a circle with the sticks we’ve been collecting during our walk. As silly as it may sound, God is using this to show me that there can be joy in the mess. Let’s be honest, most of life will be pretty messy and that is not by accident.
This week my grandmother (on my mom’s side) has slipped drastically. Hospice has given her to the end of the week and maybe into next. As of their visit with her yesterday, they don’t quite understand how she is still alive at this point. My sister, Jessica, has been taking care of my grandmother for the past five years. It wasn’t until the past six months that Grams’ health really started to decline rapidly. She’s a diabetic, has high blood pressure, and her kidneys are failing. When we visited on Monday it was heartbreaking to see Grams in such a state. At that point, she hadn’t said anything for a day and a half and then while talking with her and praying for her, I witnessed her push out an “I love you.” I cannot express fully with words just how much this meant to me because I knew she was saying it to the whole family because it’s been her family that she has lived for her entire life.
A word regarding my sister’s relationship with Grams over the past 5 years and her current service to her:
Jessica is the oldest of my mother’s children. There’s three of us girls altogether. Jess had Grams 4 years before Paige and I were born. She has always been motherly towards us, whether that be checking on us during school or watching out for us at home. That didn’t stop when she moved out of the house. She continued to help us. She and her husband took care of me so well while I was away at DBU since they lived in a nearby suburb. I would spend weekends with them sometimes. Her husband, Albert, would change my oil as I got to spend time with Grams, my nephew, and Jess. Grams moved in with them right as my nephew was being born. To Grandma, she was going to get to take care of her first great-grandchild. To Jessica, she was going to get to care for her legally blind, sick grandmother. It was win-win. Throughout the years, they have shopped together, raised a child together, and simply done life together. Now, Jessica is continuing to care for Grams in her most fragile state. She has changed her, bathed her, fed her, and prayed with her as she has slipped. She is serving our grandmother as our grandmother has been so faithful to serve us our entire lives. I cannot imagine the pain Jessica must feel each day to know Grams is no longer able to eat or talk. There’s no bouncing back at this point, and I know it kills her. God help us. Give our sweet Grams rest soon.
I see Christ through all of this. I’m learning how to be more long-suffering as I’m sure the rest of my family is. We are becoming more of a praying people, and truth be told, if you would have looked at my family ten years ago, even five years ago, that was not the case. Thank you Jesus for being the perfect image of sacrifice and service. Thank you for taking on all the suffering and pain so that we, Grams especially, will not experience a sting from death, but will see you face to face soon. Draw us to you in our saddest hours. Save some of my family members through this. Open the eyes of our hearts to see your great love for us demonstrated through the sending of your Son. Behold the Lamb!