Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Opening my Heart

I would like to candidly share with all of my readers what is on my heart and what struggles I am in the middle of right now. I have tears streaming down my cheaks as I choke back the new tears that keep surfacing. I'm not sure where even to begin, how to verbalize the deep feelings I am experiencing, but I'll let today's events be the beginning.

My Grandma of 82 years is going through the hardest trial she has known in her lifetime. All of her siblings, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have painfully watched for the past year and a half as she has struggled with a number of health problems ranging from crest arthritis to repeat lung infections. This morning I visited her in the hospital after she was admitted for heart failure and was very saddened to see what she was experiencing. She struggled to get each and every breath, all the while her breathing machine had to force air down into her lungs so she could get the oxygen needed to continue living. The nurses had to keep lowering the "low-oxygen-alarm" that kept sounding off as her body hit a new low oxygen level, so that it wouldn't keep beeping. I was grateful for having shared the morning with her, but pained to see her struggle with every breath.

My Grandma is an exceptional individual, living life as she knows best. She has the heart of a child, the wisdom of King Solomon and the beauty of a Queen....which in fact is where her name Betty stems from. In my grandma's family tree, there is some version of the name "Elizabeth" amongst every generation, stemming back to Queen Elizabeth's ancestor's as well....a small but meaningful relation to royalty :) She lived a life far from a queen, however, spending the majority of her years in a small and simple house in the low economic part of town. She was content at staying home to raise her 3 children, while her husband spent many hours away, working several jobs to get by. They gave to anyone they knew was in need, sparing little for themselves or for luxuries.

Before her illness, my grandma had enjoyed years of blessings from our Lord in the form of a loving church family, devoted children and grandchildren to spend time with, and enjoyable friends to converse with. She was incredibly shy, but also opinionated, which some people took as offensive. If you knew her heart, though, you would know her intentions were of no harm to others.

My grandma had a wedding of a grandchild to look forward to in June, had Christmas with her family planned for this Saturday evening, and had intentions of seeing our new house with all of the various homemade decorations she had crafted for me over the past few decades. She had several grandchildren not yet married, along with any unborn great-grand kids that will never get to know the exceptional woman she is. She even pre-signed cards for the February birthdays approaching that she will never get to send out....

My heart is aching as I am torn between the love for my grandma, the pain that I know she experiences daily, and the calling home to her from up above. Jesus has walked with her through her pain, and knows that she is calling out to him to bring her home. For all of those involved, it will be a struggle between happiness for her, and sorrow for us.

People from near and far will be coming to bid her farewell over the next few hours, as she slips in and out of sleep with the pain medication she is on. During this time, I ask my readers to be showering all of us with prayers:
  • Prayers for my grandpa as he struggles to comprehend what life will be like without the love of his life;
  • prayers for her children as they say goodbye to the woman who gave them love, compassion and support all of their years;
  • prayers for her grandchildren as they remember fondly the memories of sharing time with her as they grew up;
  • and prayers for her great-grandchildren as they say good-bye to a woman that they loved to give hugs to when they saw her.
I will be taking a break, as I will be dealing with many foreseen family needs coming up. I plan to continue sharing with you my thoughts, feelings and experiences through it all, but will not be posting any informational BLOGS for now.

In His Grip, Whol-E-Herbster


  1. My prayers are with you during this difficult transition. Remain locked in the arms of Jesus, he alone will get you through. God has richly blessed your Grandma, and her rewards in heaven will be great!

  2. Enjoy the sweet moments with your Grandma and rest in the fact that it is not truly good-bye. My prayers are with you and your family.

  3. Your Grandmother is an extraordinary woman. True it will be difficult to live life with out her in it, however remember that Jesus is always there to listen to your pains and sorrows. Time (with Gods help) does heal all wounds. I agree with Mamma Misty, remain locked in his arms for that is where you will find strength and comfort. I will say this to you now, As long as you continue to remember her and love her she is never truly gone. Her body might be gone but she will be with Jesus. As long as you remember your memories of her and love her in your heart, then, some form of her will always be with you..As always call me if you need anything. In christian love and mercy.

  4. You will be in my prayers. My own grandmother is in her final days so I feel for you. May God hold you and your family in His peace. Jen

  5. Thank you, all, for the prayers I truely felt yesterday. As I sat in her hospital room last night, I was hurting, but also felt the comfort of God's arms and love around me. It is hard, even though I'm a Christian and I know she'll be with our Lord...for selfish reasons I guess. The memories, comfort and support she gave to all of us is so hard to say good-bye to, but then again I WILL SEE HER agin, just may take a while :)

  6. OilGirl, do you have an e-mail address I can write you back at? Thanks!

  7. Praying for you. Know how you feel and what you're going through. Sounds very familiar as I sat with my dad last March at the hospital in Sioux Falls before he passed away. Our prayers are with you.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing, Brett. I appreciate the note, and thought I had replied to this. Sorry and Thank You!