I remember getting the text about Mama Kay not sleeping well. She would wake up in the middle of the night and think that it was morning. She once sent us a text at 3:30 a.m. our time apologizing for missing a trip out to a family ranch in Oklahoma. That trip was a long time ago and L and I didn’t go. At least we got a laugh out of it. While her waking up in the wee hours was not necessarily a bad thing for her, it was effecting my FIL. Poor guy needed sleep!
On Monday April 29th he called hospice (remember she was released from their hospital) and they suggested she do a 3 day stay to give him and L’s aunt a break. They would monitor her, take the night shifts and make sure all was good. In 3 days she would return home. Sounded like the perfect plan.
They checked in late that afternoon and FIL decided to stay with her. Close to midnight they were laughing and eating and just happy. I wish we could have just stayed living in that very moment.
Tuesday is when it all changed. Tuesday is when she stopped responding. Tuesday is when we got the call that we needed to get there ASAP. Wednesday is when we packed L’s bag and prayed that she would hang on. Then the stroke happened. We broke. Literally. We prayed, our church prayed, our friends prayed, our neighbors prayed, people we didn’t know prayed. We asked for comfort. We asked for guidance.
Thursday morning we took L to the airport. It was Deja Vu. We just did this same thing at the same time 30 days ago…last time it was better. This time would be different. This time the rug was being pulled out from under our feet.
He made it the hospital and got to spend lots of time with Mom, Dad, his brothers, family and friends. He would call me every few hours to check in. The emotion during each of the calls was high. It was really hard.
Friday I booked a flight for the kids and I to leave Saturday morning. That Friday was the longest day of my life. Everyone was calling. So many emotions, so many questions. Tick, tick, tick. It was like time was standing still. I just wanted to get there. That night I got us packed got everyone tucked into bed and then around 10:15 p.m. the call came.
No, no, no. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Not yet. She was just released from hospice care. She was just on the news thanking HIM for additional time. She was just at the gym. She was just out shopping and negotiating deals at a local thrift store. She was just butt dialing me at work. NO NO NO. Please no.
Our plans aren’t HIS plans. We’re not in control. And then the flood gates opened. Uncontrolable tears.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” Matthew 11 28-30.
On Saturday May 4, 2013 Mama Kay when home to heaven. She battled Pancreatic Cancer for 11 months. She never complained about it. Not once. She, in fact, thanked GOD for her cancer because it gave her the opportunity to speak to people about her faith. She was given a powerful voice. One we never saw her use until her diagnosis. She was a warrior. She encouraged so many. She loved, she laughed. She changed lives.
The first time I saw her I didn’t believe it. It was Saturday night. She looked like an angel. She looked so elegant and peaceful. She was finally healed.
We celebrated her life on Monday May 6th. At the graveside service the pastor read Isaiah 41:10. I lost it. That’s the verse written on my hand every race. He had no idea. “That’s just how God works” he told me. When we made our way to the church it was packed!! She was (and still is) loved by so many. She touched people she never even met. She will never ever be forgotten.
I want to thank you all for sharing in this journey with my family. Thank you for letting me share my faith.This is real life. We all go through this. It has not been easy to share. There have been many times (like today) when as I write tears are streaming. It still doesn’t seem real.I don’t think it will for a while.
The Ojai Marathon is a week from Sunday. I will be wearing purple to support the fight against Pancreatic Cancer. I will run with my heart and not my legs. It’s going to be an emotional race. The one thing that is certain is that I will have an angel with me for all 26.2 miles that day. It can’t get any better than that.