What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, March 12, 2009

In transit

Last Sunday found me, as it often does, sitting at my oversized desk with piles of stationary roundabout and pen in hand, scribbling on paper and cardstock; spilling thoughts and news, opening heart and making love known.

I love to write letters (you'd think blogging would fill my writing void enough) and have taken to not only writing letters to friends and family, but taking special care to send weekly lovegrams to those widowed and/or sick.

Lately, there are many.

These are the people who need love notes the most, and get them the least. A dying person, a lonely person, a person in pain~ I like to think that well wishes written and mailed, with an occasional drawing of love from children tucked within, might make a day brighten even for just a moment. Even a brief moment of pain subsided is worth any time at all I can give to that cause.

And so, Sunday was filled with pen to paper, sharing of our plans and news to divert attention from the bad and the hopeless, written promises of "Always praying" and declarations of love. Love is not a thing to keep secret.

Evening came and crisp, white pile sat tidy on the corner of the desk, awaiting Monday's mail. I went to bed, happy in the thought that I took the time to send love, and dreaming of the joy on the pained faces when they saw a note in the mail. For THEM. One of those licked and stamped envelopes held the name Oma van der Jagt.

But yesterday, just two days after Mailman took them away, news came. Terrible news. There was an accident. A fall. A day of lying on the floor, helpless, unable to get help, unable to stand the pain. A day of confused husband not knowing the phone numbers of his children or of the on-call nurses...Alzheimer's stealing his only means of getting help and old age stealing his ability to help lift her to safety~ but love, love enduring enough to push pillows round his Beloved to make her comfortable.

No one expected her to live through the night. Every hour that her frail heart pounds within her is one that was not expected. Every moment, every phone call...we wait.

Choking sadness overwhelms me. Matt isn't here to wrap me in his arms and comfort my heaving body. When my head hurts from pain, I have to find comfort in clutched, heartless pillows. He can't stroke my head, he can't soothe me with quiet words.

The sadness I feel doesn't come from death. I am not afraid for Oma to die. Many times I prayed that the Lord would ease her suffering, bring her home to Him and wrap His arms around her. That she be let go of the burdens of this life, that she be COMFORTED. I remember those prayers. They have just barely left my lips, so recent have they been uttered.

No, the deep sadness that I feel is heart-wrenching pain of knowing that her last hours on earth may have been spent utterly helpless and in pain, without means of getting help. I see her frail pajama-clad body suffering on the cold, hard floor... It grieves me to think of what she had to endure these last two days.

And it pains me that somewhere, a crisp white envelope addressed to Oma van der Jagt may arrive too late.


Mrs. MK said...

I'm sorry, Rebecca!

Grandma Bibby said...

Just remember that even as she was lying on that cold floor, she was in the warm arms of her Everlasting Father. He can comfort her even then. And He loves her so. I hope you can find comfort in even that. We will be praying for all of you.

Quinne said...

Hi Rebecca :) Know that we are praying, too - for her, for you. Love you, Q

Tracy said...

I'm praying for your Oma, and for you.

Dana said...


I'll be praying for you and your family.


Kendall in Charlotte said...

Praying for you and your Oma.

Father's Grace Ministries said...

I pray that the Lord will comfort you also, and that your Oma will experience such a deep experience of His Love and Presence during her time of waiting, as she prepares to enter His Rest.

God Bless you and your precious family,

Terri said...

Rebecca, I'm sorry!

Anonymous said...

Oh Rebecca, I am so sorry. Holding you and your Oma in our prayers.
Kaje in England

Bonnie said...

Praying here too!

Michelle said...

Praying, Rebecca!

Victoria said...

Praying!!! May our Comforter make His presence known - as I am sure He has with your Oma.

Nanci said...

Oh, Rebecca,
I'm praying for you, Oma, & Ompa.
Remember that our loving Heavenly Father does not leave or forsake His loved ones as they walk through the valley of the shadow of death. (Dear precious saints like your grandparents who have served Him for a lifetime and been examples to the generations He will enfold beneath His wings.)

Mandie said...

Oh Rebecca! I'm so sorry to hear this! We'll be in prayer for you and your Oma, and praying Matt comes home to comfort you soon!

Leah said...

I'm so sorry, Rebecca. (((HUGS))) It must have been so much harder for you without Matt there. We'll keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers.

Andie said...

Praying for you and your dear family.

abigail said...

What a difficult time. I'm glad Matt's home now to help ease the ache a bit, and I'm praying for you all as you wait for the Lord to receive her spirit.

TheChickadeefeeder said...

I am so sorry too that your Oma spent her last days like this. We went through a slightly similar grief last year when my mother-in-law fell at the nursing home and they denied she had a broken hip for a whole day...till my sister-in-law blew in there like a hurricane and hauled her off to the ER.

She recovered, spent another year in a (different) nursing home, and just went to be with Jesus on March 1. We're indeed comforted and rejoicing about where she is now. But the worst day of grief was that day she fell and didn't get help. It's very hard to take...just remember that none of that matters to your Oma NOW.

I'm crying for you and you're in my prayers.

Jill said...

I am so very sorry for your loss.

Your story breaks my heart and also feels very familiar. Sixteen years ago (I can't believe it's been 16 years!) I was 16 years old. My grandma was admitted to the hospital--very sick. They sent me over to her house to get something and I remember letting myself in...walking to the kitchen...and seeing her medicine dripped all over the kitchen table. The bottle of medicine laying on it's side and a spoon laying next to it. My heart broke. I sobbed. She was too sick to even take her medicine on her own, and nobody knew it. She passed away that very night. It still hurts to think about it.

You just have to remember that if you had known she needed you, you would have come right away. Nobody expects things like this to happen. Push the guilt out of your heart and move forward. Don't dwell on it. Because she's alright now, where she is.

Take care,