Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Birthday Garden

My friend Robin once shared a story she read where two women would write letters back and forth. The one always wrote about her garden and how lovely it was growing, though the rest of her life was perhaps not quite as pleasant. It encouraged me to focus more on “the garden” of my life. So with that thought I share the following:

The Good in my life
I often sit and wonder at what my life was meant to be
How many times my past mistakes would get in front of me
I’ve sat here and lamented at the things I should have done
Sad for all the losses, glad for battles won
Then I begin to ponder, take stock, observe and see
That through it all the good, the bad
He’s meant it good for me.

I’m thankful for my children,
Whether near or whether far
They reside safely in my soul
In this garden, they’re my stars
I look at E-man and see hope
And wait for hope fulfilled
I hear Evans gentle music
And raging waters become still
I smell the scent of Samuel
His laughter is my myrrh
I glance at my stepdaughters
Remembering how small they were

I’m thankful for my parents
My dad, my mom, my Blanche
Without them in my life
I would not have had a chance

I’m thankful for my family
My friends whose hearts I know
I’m thankful for all who come
And help this garden grow.

I’m thankful for what’s coming
His freedom keeps me free
Most of all I’m glad my garden
Dwells in the grace of Gethsemane

Monday, November 8, 2010

She held her breathe, til she got her way

Thanksgiving is just around the's also going to be 6 years since my Mom passed away.  She passed on a couple of days after Thanksgiving in 2004. It is during this time of the year that I think about my mom the most.  It is honestly the hardest holiday for me and for other family members as well. Towards the end of her battle with cancer the Doctors recommended Hospice for my mom. I found a Hospice facility near my home and she remained there for the last three weeks of her life. We have a big family and rarely was my mom alone. Between my aunt, siblings, and close friends she often had visitors. Hospice prepared us for what was to come and we made it clear that if they began seeing the signs we were to be informed immediately. We knew she would not want to go home alone and we wanted to be there for her last moments here. When the time came I got the late night phone call saying that they were beginning to see signs and that perhaps we should call the family to come down. Soon after I got there everyone began showing up.  We were all there except for my youngest sister who at the time was 17 yrs old, she was at my house just a couple of miles away and wanted to come after my mom passed. At first my mom was talking with us and then she fell asleep. My aunt was heading back to California and when she tried to wake my mom up to say goodbye; we realized my mom was no longer responding to anyone. They saw she was not just asleep but now in a coma and we waited. The hours had passed by and we began to see the physical signs of what a Pastor/friend called " the folding of the tent."  It was difficult but important that we were there. The moment came when she stopped breathing. I immediately walked out of her room, called my sister, and told her to come now.  Friends of ours went to pick her up. When we hung up my uncle came and said," You're mom is not gone, she is still here." I went back to her room and there she was breathing again, still in her comatose state.  When my sister arrived I apologized to her but said nothing else. I knew she didn't want to be there for this part of it, but now she was there. A few moments after she arrived the most amazing thing happened, my mom suddenly opened her eyes and began to look around the room. After hours of being non responsive she came to and we all quickly gathered around her bed and began saying hi to her. Slowly her head began to span the room and she didn't just look at us, she beheld us. We told my sister to say hi and with her head faced down she did. It was a gift, we were able to see our mom with her big brown eyes staring back at us for one last time, but more importantly she was able to see all of us and it didn't happen until my sister arrived. Once she looked at us she closed her eyes and couple of hours later she passed on. The months that followed were extremely difficult; it has taken a lot of time to heal and to be able to even talk about her or about the experience.   Nowadays my sister and I talk about her with a smile. My mom was the type of person that made friends wherever she went. She had a way with getting her way, and she was known for that!  In fact, now looking back Ana and I both agree that our mom wanted her there in the room. Our mom knew the only way to get her there was to well, in a sense, hold her breathe til she got her way.
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