Come on home, home to me and I will hold you in my arms and joyful be!
Of any imagine the one of Mom being joyfully welcomed in Heaven is what I hold onto this morning. I could not grab that image last night or in the wee hours of the morning.
Mom passed away last evening around 6:45 after a final struggle with this journey. After sitting outside Mom's window for the morning and on into the afternoon while Mom rested peacefully I headed home to warm up. The wind was wicked and the temperature not warm. Within an hour of my leaving Lee Ann and Craig had taken up the vigil. Mom was agitated and calling out. A little before 5 pm a nurse came outside to talk to my siblings and Lee Ann went into Mom's room immediately. I have no doubt that her presence was felt by Mom. At that point none of us were sure that this could be Mom's passing. Craig went home to dress more warmly. Bruce and I arrived at 6 and were outside the window as Lee Ann helped Mom let go of this life here on earth. It was not a gentle passing but we could hear Lee Ann reassuring Mom of all of her family here and those there of our unending love of her. When Mom was close to her last breath I could see the release of pain leaving her body. Peace when she finally let go was immediate. Her face and her body finally, finally at rest.
As our family begins the next part of the journey into grief, we ask for your prayers to help us work through losing both of our parents/grandparents within days of each other. We are often too tired or too distracted to pray ourselves - or at least that is true for me. And knowing there is a vast community out there that loves Mom and Dad and who will hold us up is a comfort.
Family was everything to Mom and Dad but their definition of family was BIG. It was HUGE. They included anyone and everyone into the fold building a community that just keeps growing. So now it is up to us 4 siblings - Craig, Ren, Lee Ann and myself to continue this legacy of love of one another. Big shoes to fill but as Craig wrote last night to Ren, Lee Ann and myself "I think the legacy they left us is in good hands."