My sweet husband approached me a couple of weeks ago about taking time during the fourth of July weekend to go and visit my Grandmother and Father who live in Eastern Washington. This meant alot to me for two reasons: 1) usually we go to his sister's home and have a delightful time - this has become a routine every fourth. 2) My Grandmother and Father have never met Chloe or Justus. This visit was one I looked forward to with anticipation of warm weather and sharing memories with Grandma. I also LOVE seeing my children near their Great-Grandmother. Just something about that visual picture that I don't think I will easily forget. Well, we decided we would just show up into town, get a room and surprise both of them. We arrived Friday evening and spent some time driving around town and enjoying some early fireworks while sitting at a Sonics for the first time! The weather was also so beautiful and HOT! It was 100 degrees while we were there - and I LOVED IT! (I grew up in Eastern Washington and have fond memories of being outdoors in the heat) That next morning we received a call from my Dad saying Grandma had a severe stroke that morning. We went to the hospital and my Dad started to cry stating he was so happy we were there. We could see that Grandma's left side was unable to move and that she was pretty feeble. She was in and out of consciousness. The on-call doctor came in the room and asked Grandma if she could hear him, she answered "yes". I was thrilled! This meant she could not only hear, but respond. He backed up a couple of feet after his questions to her and started to discuss "options" with my Dad. She had not yet shown signs of swallowing, so he told Dad that if she didn't that he would have to decide on whether or not to put a feeding tube in. I thought, WAIT - whether or not???!!!???? To deny someone of eating used to be called starving someone, but I guess if that person happens to be old and unable to entirely care for themselves it is now called humane death???!!!??? Didn't this doctor just get my Grandmother to respond to him? Now he was discussing options of death only two feet from her bedside?
Dad and I had a very brief discussion that hour after the doctor left the room and I said that I would always be a proponent of life. I left it at that, realizing Dad was overwhelmed with emotion. I noted in my mind that this was a priority of prayer. So did my husband.
That next morning I received a phone call stating that Grandma wanted to talk to me. She heard my voice on the phone and even responded to my questions!! I was so super excited to go and see her. Phillip and I just teared up thanking our God all the while. We got to the hospital and guess what.... she was swallowing water, just a bit - BUT - she was showing improvement! She was able to see all of her great-grandchildren and talk a little with some of them. One very tender moment occurred when she held Justus' hand - my throat felt tight with emotion as I put my own hand and covered them both and gave a gentle squeeze. Justus is named after my Grandfather - how fitting that she held onto his hand so tightly.
The same doctor came in and was yet again talking the same talk. I could not believe it! After he left my father and I had a candid conversation. I will just say that I think our visit helped him to be encouraged in the right way, however; I covet your prayers for my Grandmother. I am hoping that Phillip and I can be used of God in this situation to help sustain my Grandmother's life. Life, young or old, is precious and is only for the Lord to decide when it should pass. I am so very thankful that the Lord put on Phillip's heart to make a long overdue visit at such a time as this...
I praise the Lord that he has placed so many things in our life as of late that would prepare us for this... that would help us understand how precious life is, even when others in the world may not value it..