Sunday, January 29, 2017

If We Could See Beyond Today

This song has been on my heart over the past few days.  My dear mother and father often sang it as a duet through my growing up years. The words touch my heart again.

If we could see beyond today
As God can see,
If all the clouds should roll away,
The shadows flee;
O'er present griefs we would not fret
Each sorrow we would soon forget,
For many joys are waiting yet,
For you and me.

If we could know beyond today
As God doth know,
Why dearest treasures pass away,
And tears must flow;
And why the darkness leads to light
Why dreary days will soon grow bright,
Some day life's wrong will be made right,
Faith tells us so.

If we could see, if we could know,
We often say.
But God in love a veil doth throw
Across our way.
We cannot see what lies before,
And so we cling to Him the more
He leads us till this life is o'er,
Trust and obey.

You can hear it sung by George Beverly Shea (soloist for Billy Graham Crusades) here.

copyright 1943 in "Word of Life Melodies #1" by Norman J. Clayton

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Home At Last

I have been absent from my blog over the past few weeks. I had some wonderful things to share through the holiday season and I planned to be here often but life didn't allow me to do that.  My dear, little mother's situation required much more attention than it had in the past and we were aware that she was declining more every day.  Our attention turned to meeting her needs and making the holiday season the best it could be because we knew this would be the last one we spent with her. And it was!

My sweet mama quietly slipped into the presence of Jesus late on the evening of January ninth.  We had planned to move her from her home this month because her needs were increasing so quickly that we knew we could no longer carry the full load in the best way possible for her - but she moved up instead!  She is in Heaven with Jesus and with my father and my baby brother who died at birth. Mom didn't want to move from her home. Her heart longed to stay in her earthly home until she moved to her Heavenly home.  When that day came she wanted to be surrounded by those who were dearest to her on earth.  And that's exactly what happened! 

My sweetheart and I stayed with her twenty-four-seven through the last weeks of her life. That brought such comfort to her and to us.  It was very hard but we will always treasure those days with her. She was placed on Hospice for the last two weeks of her life so we had their incredible staff to help. Our daughter is a medical assistant with training and experience in elder and memory care.  She has worked closely with Hospice groups through the past years.  She took a leave of absence from her job in order to spend the last week of her Nana's life with her and to help us with the day-and-night care required.  I honestly don't know what we would have done without her.  Our son was there often, as was his sweet wife and, at times, some of our grandchildren.  Our son and our daughter and my sweetheart and I were beside her when she walked through Heaven's gates.  She was home at last!

Last Saturday we had a beautiful service to celebrate her life and ministry.  It was a time to shed tears, pay tribute to a long life well-lived, share her favorite Scriptures and sing her favorite hymns. And there was laughter as we recalled memories of her fun, loving, creative spirit.  We were surrounded and loved and hugged and prayed for by family and friends from near and far.

I am just beginning to process the loss of my dear mother. I have good days and I have days filled with poignant memories and many tears.  My sweetheart and I are at the Oregon Coast for a week with our home-on-wheels and our little dog.  We're taking time away to rest and begin to heal. We're parked above the crashing winter waves that sound like thunder when they hit the beach below.  At night a string of lights line the dark horizon as crab boats brave winter seas to work their craft while we rest and sleep.  As I write this post a pod of seals is floating on the surface just below the bluff where we are parked. God has a way of sending special things just when we need them most!