Monday, February 23, 2009

A whirlwind of a week

Last week was one of those weeks where you don't really take it all in until you're past it. My dad and brother came into town last Sunday morning for a visit with my grandmother. They were planning to stay two days. We met them down at my grandparents house around 10:30. My nanny was not having a good day. She was struggling to breathe and was very anxious. We had the girls with us, so Mackenzie went in to talk to her but we kept the littles out in the living room. They had all seen Nanny doing pretty well at Christmas, so we wanted that to be their lasting memory of her. Tim and I decided to take the girls and my brother out to lunch to get them out of the house. And by the time we got back, she was worse. At that point, Tim took all the kids home and left me there with my dad, aunt and grandfather. By this time, nanny was really struggling. So we made the decision to take her to the ER. When we got there, her oxygen level was around 70. They put her on 100% oxygen but she didn't want to keep the mask on. Within about an hour of being at the ER, they decided to give her atavan to relax her so that she could benefit from the oxygen. We continued to stay right by her side through all of this, telling her how much we loved her and we didn't want her to be afraid. At this point they moved her to a room where they could monitor her levels more thoroughly. Other members of our family began to show up to support her. Over the next few hours her levels continued to decline. During this time they told us that she could hear us so we sang to her and read her scripture. Around 7pm her levels had decreased so much that she had to be placed on a ventilator to breathe. She was then put in CCU for constant observation.

Over the next two days her condition continued to worsen. It was obvious that her life on earth was coming to an end. We continued to stay by her bedside and sing to her and read scripture. She loved God's word so I know that was a comfort to her.

On Tuesday night (Feb 17th) the dr gathered all of the family into a room and explained how grave the situation had become. There was no hope for an earthly recovery. We all supported my grandfather as he made the decision to go from the ventilator to comfort care. We all gathered in her room and held her hand as her spirit went to be with the Lord. It was the most beautiful passing I could imagine. She had her husband, her children and two of her grandchildren quoting Psalm 23 and singing Amazing Grace together. It was an overwhelming scene for me. We were all incredibly sad but the overwhelming emotion was joy that she was with Our Father. She passed away about 10:50pm. My dad and uncle high-fived over the end of the bed knowing at that VERY MOMENT, she was in the presence of God!! I am getting chill-bumps now even thinking about it.

The next few days were a blur of activity. Planning, phone calls, late nights, tears and laughter. The funeral was Friday. I was overcome when I walked in and saw how beautiful the church looked with all of the flowers. This was the church Nanny had attended for 30 years so it was very special to have the service there. I had two very sweet friends who came to help with the music. Our incredibly gifted friend, played the piano. And my sweet friend and neighbor blessed us with her beautiful voice. My grandparents heard my friend sing "This is the air I breathe" a few years back and just raved and raved over her. So it was really precious to have her sing that song at the service. She also sang harmony with me on "Come to Jesus." It was very important to me that I honor Nanny with a song. She was my musical inspiration and always supported my gift of music. It was a sad but joyous day. In the funeral procession was when Tim and I realized that six years ago, Jacob had been buried on the same day.

I know that the next days, weeks, months and years without my Nanny will be difficult for all of our family. Especially my grandfather. This June will mark 50 years of marriage for them. We know through this that God is near to the brokenhearted and will be our comfort. Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Psalm 23
(My Nanny's favorite Psalm)

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD


Tiffany said...

so beautiful :)

Lori said...

It brought tears to my eyes to read this . . . so glad your dad was there with her before she passed.

A Family of Searses said...

You are strong and DID GREAT!!! I was so proud of you.

The Hamrick's said...

I read and had to cry it out for 10minutes, still crying. You know she loved us both so dearly and wanted whats best for us. Audrey,You could not have wrote anything more beautiful. I love you and your beautiful soul..