This blog is simply the story about my little life
with my sweet family that the Lord has blessed me with
and the day in, day out things that we do.
It basically is my online diary/photo album of our life.
I'm glad you're here!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

My beautiful mother passed away....

My beautiful mother passed away December 3, 2016. She was 79 years old. My father was holding her hand and three of her four children were by her side.
 This is last photo I took of her smiling. This was just 9 days before she passed away. I love how she is looking at me and smiling, she was so happy that we were there with her.
 My husband and I along with our son, Hayden, and my sister Kelli and her husband Ralph along with their son, Joseph joined our parents for Thanksgiving dinner. I am so very thankful that we had one last family celebration with her. She had been battling bronchitis for a few weeks, but she was on the mend and seemed fine. She joked with us, was walking around and she ate dinner. Occasionally we heard her cough, but it wasn't alarming at all.
 The following Monday we got a call from their facility, Eldercare, and were told that she had taken a turn for the worse and they felt she was going to pass away, most likely by the end of the week. I was in shock! How can this be? I just saw her last Thursday and she was fine. How can this be? I left my job and went to her and she was laying there talking with my Daddy and talking with me. How can they say she's dying? She wasn't even in the hospital. We asked that they admit her in the hospital and try IV antibiotics and fluids.
 We were so happy that Eldercare worked with us and got Mommy admitted that night. I had to go to work in the morning because I had to teach a class, but I called the hospital first and was thrilled to hear that she was stable and she was actually at the same hospital where I worked! My son, Cameron, met me there at 10:30 and we visited with Mamma. We had a good visit. and he got her to laugh. She had eaten a little, but not much. They did do an x-ray and found out her bronchitis turned into pneumonia, but I felt good that she was on the IV antibiotics.

After work, I stopped by to say good-bye for the evening and she was doing fine. I called my Daddy and let them talk on the phone and their conversation was just precious. Little did we know, but that would be the last time they would have a conversation. I'm so thankful that God inspired me to call Daddy and let them talk. They told each other they loved each other.
The next morning, I was feeling good thinking she was on her way to recovery with the IV medicine. I grabbed a coffee thinking I'd have a little coffee break with her, but my world was soon to be turned upside down. I went into her room and she was sleeping, but when I tried to wake her, she would not wake up. I heard her breathing, but she was not waking up at all. I immediately found the nurse and asked to speak to the doctor on call. I called my sisters and said to come right away as I thought she was dying. Both sisters came to the hospital and Eldercare brought my father down to see her.
After many hours of no improvement and discussion with the doctor, we decided as a family to send Mamma back home to die peacefully at Eldercare with Daddy by her side. We noted that it was very difficult for Daddy to be away from their care facility as he does need help getting to the restroom and in and out of bed for his naps.

When I called Eldercare and asked if we could have her transported back home, their response was, "Of course! We were hoping you guys would decide to bring her back here." They are so sweet and kind and they knew that it would be a better atmosphere for both of our parents if she passed away quietly, peacefully at home. They provide hospice service, so she would be in good hands.

When I was waiting for the transport company to come, I had one of the darkest moments of my life. I was all alone in the room with my dying mother and had a very difficult phone call with someone I love dearly but our relationship has been severed. The conversation did not go well. It truly was a dark, depressing lonely time for me. I cried out to the Lord who gave me strength and comforted me. I finally got hold of my husband and he comforted me and gave me strength too.

I feel like I turned off my emotions at this point and kind of went on auto pilot. I had to be strong for Mom and Dad.
I stayed with Mamma until the medical transport team came to get her and then I followed them back to Eldercare. I met my husband and my son, Grayson and his wife Rachelle there. At first it was very upsetting because Daddy was so happy thinking she came home because she woke up. I had to tell him the sad news that she did not wake up and that she was dying. It was heartbreaking. I'm so thankful my husband and the kids were there with us.

We were so pleased when the staff asked Daddy if he would like them to move his bed next to hers so he can be by her side in the night. They rearranged the room and tucked them both in bed. I took this very special intimate picture of them together and Daddy was holding Mamma's hand. We held hands and prayed over them and then we went home.
The next three days were the same. I would go visit and be there all day with Mamma and Daddy.
It was a very special time that I will never forget. She never did wake up. They told us she can hear us, so we made sure that all of her grandkids who were out of state called and were able to tell her good-bye.
I love this picture. This is hanging on the wall above Daddy's bed. This is his beautiful bride when she was only about 25 years old and she had four babies already! She's so cute in her bathing suit as she is hanging the laundry to dry. Those were some of the sweetest days of their life together.
Many people stopped by to visit to say an encouraging word and pray.  Here's my son, Hayden, reading the Bible for Daddy.
We found this beautiful picture of Mamma in Daddy's Bible. He always adored her.
He loves her so very much. This was so very difficult for him.
Thursday night Kathi and her family came to visit and then she came to my house and spent the night. The next morning we had much needed sister time and had devotions together. We said that God gave us this little moment of calm during this big storm. Kathi was under added stress because her daughter was to be married on December 10th, which at this point was 9 days away. They were having a huge reception dinner/party in their barn and she had many details to take care of.
But God helped us to be there for our parents and for each other, but also helped each of us take care of the things in our lives. I brought several old photo albums for Daddy to look through.
Such happy days. Mommy with us for kids, Kelli just turned 5, Kathi 3, Sharon almost 2 and Wade 9 months. She was a busy little Mamma!
I love this picture of them. This was a very sweet period in their life, they were retired empty-nesters with several grandchildren and enjoying the more leisure life.
My husband was so thoughtful and realized that Daddy would probably really like to hug Mamma and he suggested we should help him to make it happen. My Daddy is bound to his wheelchair and cannot stand alone to hug Mom or kiss her face. We asked the CNAs if they could safely help him stand to carefully hug and kiss her and they did! This meant so much to my Dad.
While it was so very sad, there were times of laughter as we shared our good memories and when we cleaned out Mommy's drawers we found all of this contraband! She always had a sweet tooth and it's evident by her secret stash! She always loved Pringles potato chips too!
On Saturday December 3rd at 2:00 am, Eldercare called our house and said that Mamma's breathing had slowed and that we should come. I raced down there and got there at 3:00am and met my brother Wade and soon my sister Kathi arrived. We woke up Daddy and we all thought it would happen within the hour, but it didn't. We did, however, have a very special time together as we listened to the old love songs that our parents always played in the house when we were growing up. We shared memories, both good and bad, and had a very cozy time with our father.
This photo depicts exactly how I felt. I was completely drained. I took this Saturday morning about 11:30. I was all alone with my parents and had so many emotions. I had been up since 2:00 am, I was exhausted. This was my life for 6 days now. I wanted to be there for my mother. I absolutely did not want her to die alone and I really wanted to be there the moment she took her last breath and the angels escorted her to heaven. I was also so worried about my Daddy and did not want him to be alone. I felt like I could not go on much longer, but I prayed for strength and God gave it to me.
Daddy lovingly rubbed lotion on his beloved and talked to her so sweetly. We were noticing how beautiful she looked and what gorgeous skin she has. She hardly has any wrinkles.
Daddy read the Bible to Mommy every day. He read it to her one last time on Saturday morning about 3 hours before she died.
Mommy died at 3:08pm on Saturday December 3, 2016. Daddy was holding her hand, I was touching her face and caressing Daddy, Kathi was holding her other hand and Wade was at by her side. Kelli was in route and missed the actual passing, but she came soon after. We prayed together and cried. All the sudden we heard music and realized the residents were all singing "Unchained Melody" and then "Amazing Grace". What a a beautiful gift from God.
After we had our time with Mamma and they came to take her away, the facility planned a sing along with the other residents. They sat Daddy in the living room and we sat with him singing old hymns such as "Blessed Assurance" and "In the Sweet Bye and Bye". Daddy was clapping and singing. This was such a wonderful memory I will always cherish.
My beautiful mother, Shirley  
August 20, 1937 - December 3, 2016. 

Good-bye for now dear Mother, until we met again in heaven. I love you.

"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body." I Corinthians 15:42-44.


Tracy from the UK said...

Sharon - I am so sorry for your loss. I have been checking in but have been unable to see your blog and was so sad when I could read it today and saw your news.

What a beautiful blessed time you gave your mother those last days, I am sure she must have felt so safe and secure in yours and your family's love.

Sending love and prayers to you all.

Tracy in the UK

Kathi said...

Thank you for writing such a beautiful tribute of our motheršŸ˜¢, Sharon.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Sharon,
I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.
I have missed seeing your posts and you were just on my heart to pray and I have lifted you and your family up over the last weeks. God bless and be near you and your family. Though we are sad here on this earth, we can rejoice when we know our loved one is with the LORD. Remembering that brings me comfort when I miss my parents that have gone on to be with the LORD.
In Christ's love!

Heartfelt living said...

Dear Sharon, I'm so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful mother. What a wonderful life she had. Your parents love story is so inspiring. I will pray for her and you and your family. She is now at peace among the Angels.
I have missed your blog. You wear your heart on your sleeve and I cry with you, laugh with you and pray for you.
In friendship,

jen said...

I'm so sorry for your family's loss of your mum. You are all in my prayers. What a beautiful lady, life and legacy she has left. Take care-

Judy said...

I am so sorry for your loss, and what a beautiful tribute to your mother. May you find comfort and peace through the loving memories of your beautiful mother. Your post brought back so many memories of my parents passing, especially of my mothers where my siblings and I were all there when she passed. Reading your post also brought the tears flowing again, but I think they are tears of comfort. Thank you for sharing.

Sue from NY said...

Sharon, your Mom is with our sweet Jesus now!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your mother's journey to heaven. You were truly blessed to share her last days with her. Your story was so beautifully written Sharon, and a beautiful tribute to her. My thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

God bless,

Barbara Beach said...

Dear Sharon,

I have followed your blog for years and am so very sorry to hear of your mother's passing. You have shared wonderful stories of your family and I know what a sad and difficult time you went through. But also blessed to be so close to your parents and with your mom at the end.

Prayers are lifted for you and your family and wishing you a smooth and wonderful 2017.


elizabeth said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I pray that God's presence and comfort is clearly felt by you and your family.

gin said...

So sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed the writings you would post of your mom of yalls get together and family times. Prayers for peace and comfort for your dad and all the family.

Cottonwood Tales said...

Sharon I am sorry to hear of your mom's passing but I know you and your family will be comforted by our Father. I have checked in at your blog several times and am glad you posted. This is a beautiful tribute to your parents.
God Bless you and your family.
Hugs, Karen in Texas

Anonymous said...

Iam so sorry for your loss. I kept checking into your blogg but it was turned off. When I read this today my heart was totally broken for you and your family. What a blessing that you know your Mother was washed in the Blood of Christ and now she is in paradise with him. How glorious that you will see her again. I have been reading your blogg for so long that you do feel like family. I will keep you and your family in my prayers and pray the Lord will hold you close and comfort you. Love and God Bless. Donna

Anonymous said...

Dear Sharon,
I have been sad that I was unable to read your blog, but kept checking to see if there was a change...and thinking of your parents after you have shared stories of their frail health. I have been praying for them. When I was able to see your blog and read the news of your mom's passing, my prayers continued but now for strength for you and your family at this most difficult time. I have always read with understanding of your deep love and commitment to your parents, as I too have also traveled that path. May each day bring you, your family and of course your Dad, comfort and peace.
Mary Ann

hdauksch said...

Sharon, Kathi, Kelli, Wade and families, so very sorry for the passing of your mother. Thank you for sharing your tribute of loss so publicly. She does look very peaceful and content, and you can obviously see the love between your mother and father. They truly had a blessed and Godly relationship in marriage. I'm sure the influence of your mother in all your lives will continue and even though she will no longer be there in person, she will always be with you in heart and spirit. When we least expect it, their presence is known. May your father find comfort and peace knowing he was there with her, that he loved her, and that she knew he was with her. God Bless.

Shan said...

Dearest Sharon,

I am so sorry to hear about your beautiful Momma's passing. I am praying for your comfort and peace. What a testament you are to are so lovely in all that you do for your family and others, as well as your home. I am sure she is smiling down from Heaven.

So kindredly,

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon, please accept my deepest condolences, God is with you in this time and He will uphold and strengthen you. Blessings of God, Peace of God, Strength of God, Grace of God, be upon you and your entire family.

(P.S) on the last picture you have your mother's passing date as 1916, and not 2016.

Willa Eklund said...

Sharon, I am praying for you and your family as you go through these days. While we know our Moms are with the Lord now and singing and dancing in Heaven with their new bodies, we are heartbroken here on earth. I lost my Mom 3 years ago and I feel your pain as I was close to my Mama as you were.
I am sure you just had the hardest Christmas ever. God is so good to comfort us when we long for our loved ones though. He fills the hole in our hearts.
You did so well as your Mama's daughter. That is something to be comforted by. Your Mom was very blessed.
Praying for you as you go through the hard days ahead.

Breahn said...

Mrs. Sharon,
I am so very sorry to hear about your Mama. I will be praying for your family. I sure did miss your posts when you were away. You uplift and inspire so many of us. Thank you for that!

Breahn Royal,
Crockett, Texas.

A Romantic Porch said...

I am friends with Kathi on fb and have followed along there, but it's so sweet to read your words here. Much love, thoughts and prayers. Rachel

A Romantic Porch said...

I am friends with Kathi on fb and have followed along there, but it's so sweet to read your words here. Much love, thoughts and prayers. Rachel

Kelly M. said...

Oh Sharon I had to read this over again, its so moving and so touching, what a beautiful couple they were. I wish I were there to give you a big hug....

Valerie said...


I am so sorry for your loss and for your family's loss. Praying for you and your family.

God bless you all.


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