Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Slow Death

          Dedicated to Joel Rhodes, Ellyn Marie Woodburn and Jenny Delorenzo
and to anyone who has lost a fury family member

          On January 1, 1997 I woke up to sirens at my grandmothers house. What we were to find out later was she was and had suffered a massive stroke. This stroke left her with the inability to speak but not without life. For three months she lingered, unable to talk to us, at times tears streaming down her face, reaching for something at other times. To what she was reaching for, we did not know. Those three months were hell for me. My parents and I had moved in with grandma in 1992 and she was no longer a distant relative. We had a very special relationship I knew would not have existed had I not shared a home with her. That is what made the three months hell. I hated seeing her suffer, to not be able to communicate with her was torture and I imagine it was for her too. I think that is where the occasional tear came from. A slow death is painful when it is someone you love.

Why do I share this after almost two decades?

2 Reasons

          Last week at my conference, Faith Forward, in Nashville, TN the Wednesday morning speaker wanted to teach us how to create sacred space with children and youth. He did this by asking us to recall a sacred moment. My sacred moment was with my grandmother. As I stated above, she lost her ability to speak after her stroke. But the last Sunday in March was different. I was sitting by her bed visiting before I would head back to Greensboro, it was my final semester at UNCG. I started singing hymns I knew that she would know. The last song I sang was "Amazing Grace". When I got to the third verse.......

Through many dangers toils and snares, I have already come.
Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home"


There was no denying that God was there in that moment. That God had been there through every speechless conversation, for every fallen tear. My God was greater than any illness that could rob my grandmother of the ability to speak. It WAS a holy moment and one that I will never forget. I am so thankful for that brief 5 minutes last week when I recalled this sacred moment. GOD IS GOOD!

Sophie is the 2nd reason I share this memory. My baby girl is dying. She has a nasal tumor that hemorrhaged on May 17. I actually thought she had died on the way to the animal hospital in Raleigh, NC. The goal is to keep her comfortable and pain free until either she dies peacefully or the pain is to much to bear. Since picking her up on Friday, May 23 we have done some extra outings and they have been fun. Sophie is my traveling buddy so I plan to make the most of what time I have left, which is unknown, with her. I know it won't be easy and there have been plenty of shed tears. But maybe there will be sacred moments during this time with her.