Monday, December 26, 2011

Tough Stuff - A Prayer

Father, I'm learning firsthand that a dying family member is tough stuff. The feeling of pending loss is sharp right now. And as the misery of death meets the hope of eternity I feel bullied, pushed around by such extremes in emotion. I am not ready to lose this woman so dear to me. But I am ready to give her to you.

I smile as I think of her and Paul together proclaiming that:
This is the only race worth running. I've run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that's left now is the shouting—God's applause!
Oh, God, welcome my mom home with applause.  Greet your daughter, whole and vibrant, with a smile and a bear hug.  Show her the joy that her life has been to you, to her family, to all who love her, to all she's loved.  And show her the eternity you've been preparing for her, an eternity blazing with adventure, bright with your wide-open presence.

Comfort those left behind.  As we release in turn wife, love, friend, mother, sister, Lord, come into that emptiness, that angry gap.  Soothe and fill.  Be sweet and gentle and perfectly strong within each of us.  Sustain.

As we make decisions we will never be ready to make, Lord, be all that we are not.  Give us eyes of wisdom and clarity to make choices for Sharon's care and choices for her release.  Grace those with her with peaceful rest when it is their time to rest and with strength and energy when it is time for action.

Father, let my mom die with the peace and joy with which she lived.

What we know right now:

My mother-in-law, Sharon, has been fighting stage 4 ovarian cancer for 5 years and God has blessed each member of our family with more sweet time with her than we ever imagined. And now, at least to all human eyes, it looks like it's time to say goodbye to Gramma for now. The cancer that her body, mind, and spirit have fought for those years has grown into her brain, her liver, her lungs, her heart.  It appears that the radiation treatments from November to control the growth of the brain tumors weren't as effective as hoped and the lesions have caused bleeding in her brain.

Her pain level has increased over the past few days and last night the family decided to take her to the ER to help control the pain.  Blessedly, the staff at the hospital has been able to make her comfortable.  The family and hospital staff has decided to move her to a hospice facility adjacent to the hospital.

We don't know how much time we have with Sharon, but based on her decline over the past few days, it seems like her time here will be measured in days or maybe weeks.

Steve's dad Spike and sisters Sandy and Susie together with their families are together with Sharon in Maryland.  We're loving on them from Utah.


Lori @ Five of My Own said...

Prayers, love, hugs...from Ohio

Shelly said...

Beautiful words through such a difficult time. Praying these things for you all.

Anna said...

Oh how I ache for your family. It was right before Christmas 5 years ago that my father lost his battle with cancer. I love the scripture you shared. Our prayers are with you!

Sara said...

Keeping your family and Sharon in our prayers.

Sara said...

Keeping your family and Sharon in our prayers.

dehaas5 said...

Oh Jamie, you have so eloquently expressed your love for an obviously wonderful mother. Hard times, I'm sorry, and I will remember your requests in prayer.

MaryV said...

Prayers and love to you, your family, and friends, Jamie.

Jennifer said...

Such a beautiful, grief-filled, honoring post. My heart goes out to all of you as you say your final earthly goodbyes to Sharon. May your Hello's in heaven be so much sweeter.

Michael Cupak said...

Thats was one of the most touching and beautiful posts I've ever read. My heart is with you guys, and you are in my prayers.


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