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March
28
2021

March 27, 2021

You may have heard a voice this evening saying, "Well done good and faithful servant".  

My sweet mama has made her heavenly flight.  She passed peacefully with us next to her, reading from the Psalms and singing Amazing Grace up to her last breath.  The song that keeps playing in my head is Sweet Beulah Land.  I'm not sure there are any better words to rejoice in as we rest knowing she is at peace and seeing Jesus face to face.

Beulah Land, I'm longing for you
And some day on thee I'll stand
There my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land - Sweet Beulah Land

I'm kind of homesick for a country
To which I've never been before
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
For time won't matter anymore

Beulah Land, I'm longing for you
And some day on thee I'll stand
There my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land - Sweet Beulah Land

I'm looking now across the river
Where my faith will end in sight
There's just a few more days to labor
Then I will take my heavenly flight

Beulah Land, I'm longing for you
And some day on thee I'll stand
There my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land - Sweet Beulah Land

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March
27
2021

March 26, 2021

"Rejoice always,
pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 These. 5:16-18

Mom recently bought a print from Hobby Lobby with this scripture on it and had it prominently displayed in her living room.  She spent a lot of time looking at this passage and thinking long and hard about what each line meant and whether or not she lived it out.  There were several times over the last few months when things got tough and we reminded each other to "give thanks in all circumstances".  

A perfect example of mom putting this into action was expressed in a handwritten note that was taped just above her desk where she could read it every day.  "Short term memory loss is a natural reset of aging and possibly God's way of helping us cut ties to worldly things."   What a powerful perspective and example of "giving thanks in all circumstances".  She has been preparing to be ready for heaven for some time now and she was able to filter even the hard evidences of aging through this lens.  

Today I'm rejoicing because mom had a very peaceful night.  I'm continuing to pray without ceasing that the Lord will be merciful to her in the time she has left.  I'm giving thanks because I have had the incredible privilege of having a mother who not only memorized scripture but worked even harder to live it out.
March
25
2021

March 25, 2021

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.  Lam. 3:22-23

It's easy to recite the sentiment, "his mercies are new every morning" when you wake up refreshed on a beautiful morning.  It's amazing though that these words are with me constantly through this time.  I am finding that focusing on gratitude is becoming a natural reflex and I feel it more intensely than ever. It's interesting how sorrow can actually make the feeling of gratitude increase exponentially.  What a sweet example of God's continued grace and provision through all of this.

I'm so incredibly grateful for all of the wonderful messages and prayers that everyone has expressed for my mom and our family.  Even though I'm finding it difficult to keep up with responding, please know that we love hearing them and we are reading them to mom when she is alert enough to understand.  We are so grateful for meals from friends that show up just when needed most.  I'm so grateful for the beautiful flowers that have been sent and are providing such a beautiful display of color in mom's room.

I'm also grateful for how Sandi, Eric and I have bee in complete agreement with mom's care plan every step of the way.  I know that times like this can cause division in families so I am just so thankful that we are all united in wanting the best for mom.  I know this would be a blessing to her.

Eric had to leave today to travel back home.  It was a hard thing to see him leave and I know it was hard for him to go.  So thankful for his help over this last week and I'm glad he was able to spend time with her.  I know it's been hard on Sandi not being able to be here, but she's been so supportive with prayer and hospice advice that is has felt as if she were her with us. 

One step forward and two steps back seems to be the best description of things right now. We knew things weren't going to get better, but there have been moments where she seems to be gaining strength and our hearts begin to hope in some sort of recovery.  Unfortunately, the reality of her condition rears it ugly head all too soon and we are reminded that we are not guaranteed another day with her.  Not knowing a timeline can be difficult, but once again I am reminded that "God's mercies never come to an end" and we feel his presence and provision in all of it.  

Grateful,
Kirsten

March
24
2021

March 24, 2021

We brought mom to my house yesterday for hospice care.  She was so thankful to be out of the hospital and has seemed to enjoy the buzz of activity with having all of us in and out of her room when she is awake.  Needless to say we provide a lot of entertainment ;)  If you ask her what her favorite thing about the ambulance ride was, she will tell you it was the "good looking guys" referring to the EMT's who brought her.  Obviously she's still got some spunk.

We are still working on getting all of our hospice services lined up, but we are hopeful it will all be in place soon.  This will be a huge learning curve, but we feel buffeted in all of this by your constant prayers.

We brought a few of mom's things from her apartment to use in her room in order to make her feel at home.  One of the items we brought was her "prayer chair" from her bedroom.  As I was sitting in it last night, I noticed something sticking out between the cushion and the arm of the chair.  When I pulled it out I realized it was her prayer list.  Praying for her family was always a priority and I can imagine the countless hours she spent in that chair as she covered us in prayer.  

March
23
2021

March 23, 2021

Mom had a good night and we are so thankful.  She has been suffering with Sundowner's Syndrome since coming to the hospital which made her nights so difficult for her and heartbreaking for us.  Since we have switched to Comfort Care they are able to administer the same level of comfort medication that hospice normally would.  We were able to alert the nurse anytime that she was starting to show distress and she would give something to make her comfortable enough to sleep.  Needless to say, this allowed Eric and I to get some sleep as well.  

We will talk with the palliative care team this morning to determine whether or not she is strong enough to be moved to our home to start hospice care.  We want desperately to grant her wish to "go home" but don't want to put her through anything at this point that would be too hard on her in her weakened state.  

In trying to help mom be comfortable last night, we prayed with her.  We could visibly feel the tension in her body release as we were holding her hands while praying.  After the prayer I started to softly sing to her.  As I was singing "Jesus Loves Me" we noticed that she was mouthing the words as I was singing.  Seeing that she was enjoying it, I just continued to sing several songs and she was joining in by mouthing the words.  We then asked her if she wanted to hear some scriptures and she answered wholeheartedly with, "Well why not?"  This led to a sweet time of Eric and I reading some of our favorite passages to her and she would smile and comment as she could.  We followed this time up with playing some of her favorite hymns on our phones and we would quietly sing along with them, she joined in several times with audible singing.  What an incredibly precious time this was for us and we are so grateful for the faith in Jesus that our mom lived out and instilled in us.  That faith in Jesus is what is sustaining us in this time.  

Our nigh nurse summed it up well this morning as she was leaving, "She's a fighter!  I've only known her for a few hours but I can tell that she is a fighter."  

Thank you for your continued prayers and sweet words of encouragement!  We are reading them to her and if I don't get a chance to respond individually, know that they are all appreciated.

March
22
2021

March 22, 2021

Mom had a really rough night.  It's very clear to us that she is tired and her heart is very weak.  Although we thoroughly enjoyed the last two days with her, we now realize that our hopes of even a small recovery are pretty unrealistic.  We met with the palliative care doctor this afternoon and made the decision to place mom on hospice.  We will be working to determine which agency to use and the plan is to have her in our home.  Our hope is to surround her with love and be able to care for her with the incredible devotion and tenderness she cared for us over the years.  Please pray for peace and comfort for her through all of this.