My beautiful mother-in-love, Alice Rae, is with Jesus now. Her moment of passing was beautiful with the harp playing and her son-in-law quoting scripture to her while her husband of 60 years was holding her hand. Many tears were shed today, but we know we will see her again and we all have so many lovely memories of her in our hearts.
As we opened the doors to leave the facility after Alice died we all saw this beautiful full-arched rainbow. I think it was the biggest rainbow I have ever seen and the colors were so brilliant and deep. A few seconds later there was actually a second more faded rainbow above it that was also the full arch. This really comforted Eric and we felt like it was a special gift from God that He was with us on this sad occasion and that heaven was rejoicing with the arrival of our beloved mother and grandmother, Alice.
"We are confident and satisfied to be out of the body and at home with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:8
"So it was that the beggar died , and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom." Luke 16:22
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
|Alice and I at a very fun Mother's Day tea that she treated me to in 2010.|
The next Saturday she quit eating and drinking. She has not ate or drank since. We thought we were going to lose her Sunday night, but she hung in there. I am so thankful that all of my boys were able to see her and say good-bye. Hospice has been called and we have a meeting with them today. God is amazing how He arranges things. My sister-in-law, Stacey and her husband Jim, came down Sunday night and spent the night with my father-in-law for a regular planned visit, they had no idea this was going to be happening to Mom. It was just so wonderful to have them in town for all of this and they were staying at Dad's house with him, so it was very comforting to know he was not alone.
It's really sad to me that this is happening now, right after we got them both settled here. I was really hoping to have at least one more year with her, but we don't get to choose these things. Alice has been sick with dementia for 7 years. She fought a good battle and now she's ready to go to the Lord. She is a Christian and loves God, so it is very comforting to know she will be in heaven with a new brain and body.
I could write a book about this woman and how wonderful she was. She was amazing! So full of life! She lived her life to the fullest and touched many lives. She has made this all easier for the family as we found a file in their home called, "My Funeral" and she planned out every detail of her funeral including things like poems and whom she would like to read them and songs and whom she'd like to sing them and even had the photo in there that she chose to put in the local paper. This is just so Alice. She was a planner and she cared about details.
My father-in-law is very sad, but he knew it was coming and he has a lot of support. My husband is doing okay too. I have been very weepy. I think we all thought we were prepared for this day to come, and thankfully, we had a very long good-bye, but in reality, I don't think you can ever be prepared for the onslaught of emotions that come when you are about to lose a dear loved one.
For now, she is still with us, but we know what is coming. Please say a prayer for our family during this difficult time.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:1-6
Thursday, October 9, 2014
|Jim and Alice circ 1988|
To give you a little bit of back story, I will start with about five years ago my mother-in-law, Alice, started to come down with symptoms of vascular dementia, her condition steadily worsened to the point that she needed to go into an assisted living home about two years later. Alice's new home was about 2 miles from their old home where Jim was still living. Jim seemed to be great living on his own; in the beginning he was visiting her every day, running errands, going to appointments, golfing and even fishing with my husband, Eric.
|Jim & Alice March 2014.|
|My special lunch date. April 2014.|
At the same time we were starting to notice Alice declining as well and getting concerned she was receiving the level of care that she really needed. We limped along status quo hoping and praying they were both alright.
|Eric talking with his father about the accident.|
|Hayden visiting with his Grandpa Jim after Jim's terrible fall.|
|Jim & Alice with Mackenzie, Brittany and Ridley at one of our family dinners. March 2014|
|Jim and I enjoying lunch after one of his appointments.|
The doctor said that Jim was still legal to drive because the cut off is 80% in one eye, but that he highly recommended he not drive anymore until after the surgeries. Oh, boy, what do we do now? We told the doctor our situation, that Jim lives alone and likes to visit his wife at the assisted living home every day. He said that if it was a short route (which it was) and one that he was familiar with that he could continue to do that, but limit all other driving.
The day had finally come for the finally measurements before the surgery. We were having difficulty finding a ride for this appointment, but decided that he could drive himself because it was only a short distance from his house.
I called the night before and told him I would meet him there on my way to work. I arrived at the doctor's office, but he was not there. I called the house, but no answer. Worry and concern ensued. I called Stacey and she called the assisted living home and his neighbors, but we could not find him.
Finally, the doctor got a call from the surgeon's office, Jim had driven to the wrong place and he was confused. Thankfully he was okay, but this was very distressing on the whole family. We really knew that we needed to address this soon.
One week later, it was a Friday and I was off work and my husband had come home real early from work. At about 10:30am we got a phone call from the surgeon's office. Jim was there again and he had no appointment, they went on to tell us that he was very confused and he could not find his car. The nurse that I spoke with told me that they needed us to come and get him because even if he found his car, they could not allow him to drive in that confused state. She also went on to say that she was a mandatory reporter, meaning she had to "turn him in" to the DMV for his driving. Oh my gosh, I just never thought we would ever get a phone call that one of our parents was confused and lost. This was so devastating.
|Jim helping Eric in the yard. Eric has a lot on his mind and is very concerned for his father.|
|The circle of life. Years ago little boy Eric watched his big strong Daddy work in the yard, now the father watches his strong son working.|
|Jim visiting Alice in the assisted living home.|
|Jim showing me his left eye about an hour after surgery. It's truly amazing!|
|My father-in-law running errands with me.|
|My Goodwill buddy!|
|Jim and Alice at the new Town Care Center where she is doing wonderfully!|
|My fence scrapping and sanding buddy!|
|My Dollar Store buddy!|
|My coffee buddy!|
|My garage sale buddy!|
|Jim loves his new home!|
"You shall stand up in the presence of the gray-headed and honor the face of an old man and you shall revere your God; I am the Lord." Leviticus 19:32
"Honor your father and your mother." Exodus 20:12a
Sunday, October 5, 2014
I don't know why, but for some reason this little catalog with it's clever spin on Dick and Jane really spoke to me. I have saved it all these years and recently came upon it again as we moved to our new house last summer and I wanted to share it with you. Bear with me as we look through the whole catalog and read the captions. It still gives me warm fuzzies! :)
We will begin with the cover which reads, "Meet Dick and Jane. They live in the Northwest. They love it. They're busy and have fun."
Oh, by the way, enjoy the fun 1980s clothes and accessories; there are a lot of cute looks!
The following July we were wed and we started our life.
|See Eric. See Eric in front of his sweet home he shares with his wife Sharon. See Eric and Sharon's dog, Isaiah. Isaiah likes sticks.|
|Sharon thinks Eric is soooo handsome! Sharon is happy she married such a hunk!|
|See Eric and Sharon's kitchen. What a cozy kitchen. See the cute quilt pattern table cloth. See the hand-me-down table and chairs.|
|See Sharon cook. Sharon made meatloaf for their first dinner as a married couple. Eric loves meatloaf. Eric loves his wife.|
|See mismatched furniture. See baskets. See Great Grandpa's painting. See a home built on love, not money.|
|See Eric and Sharon's first garden. See a garden grown with love.|
|See Eric catch the ball.|
|See Sharon try. See Sharon miss the ball. See Sharon smile. See Eric smile too.|
|See Sharon's sister Kathi. See Sharon's future brother-in-law, Stacey. See Kathi and Stacey just starting their lives.|
|Eric is a cowboy. Sharon is a cowgirl. Eric and Sharon are having a fun Halloween.|
|Sharon decorates the Christmas tree. Sharon shut her eyes for the photo. Silly Sharon.|
|Eric and Sharon are wearing silly New Year's hats. Is it midnight yet? Sharon wants to kiss her honey in his hat.|
|Sharon plays in the snow. Sharon dressed warm. See Sharon's pink leg warmers!|
|Eric gave Sharon flowers. Sharon loves her flowers. Sharon loves Eric.|
|Eric gave Sharon a pretty flower. Sharon likes pretty flowers. Sharon love's Eric. See Sharon's funny hair.|
|Sharon just got off work. Sharon works at the Bon. Sharon loves her job. Sharon loves to come home from her job to see her handsome husband Eric.|
|See handsome Eric. See strong Eric. Sharon knows she is a lucky girl.|
|See Eric and Sharon having fun camping.|
|Sharon is watching Eric play softball. Sharon isn't playing softball this year. Sharon has a bump. Sharon has a baby bump! Eric and Sharon are so excited!|
So while our life is not quite like Dick and Jane's, I'm glad I came across that little catalog and that it did inspire me on how I wanted to live. Looking back on our first years of marriage is so much fun and so precious to me.