It all seems so surreal right now. I am thankful the Lord was gracious to give us a heads up before this all took place. A month and a half ago we learned that her disease was, indeed, terminal. From that moment on we all became very intentional with our time with her. It's sad to think that's what it takes to be sure we take the time to let our loved ones know just how much we really love them. But I'm so thankful God allowed us to do that.
Two and a half weeks ago was when she had a heart attack. The words "this is the beginning of the end" immediately started flashing through my head as I drove her to the emergency room, but I didn't say that to anyone until my brother called. He said he had just told Jenna he felt like this was "the beginning of the end." I think that was God's way of preparing us that the "end" really was near.
These past two weeks, I spent every single waking moment right by her side. There was nowhere else I would have rather been. I'm thankful to have a job that allowed me to take as much time as I needed. I can honestly say I have no regrets about her last days. I kissed her, hugged her, stared at her, sat by her, told her I love her and stayed as close as I could. I told her how much I would miss her. I told her everything I loved doing with her. I told her we would all be okay. Every night I left I told her, "You are my sunshine." A few times I sang the whole song to her - it's been "our song" ever since I was a little girl.
Last night, our last night with her, couldn't have been more perfect. As she lay there in her bed sleeping, my family and I gathered around her bed and prayed that the Lord would come quickly. She's been waiting for this moment with much anticipation for the past two weeks. She's been more than ready. Impatient actually! So we asked the Author of life to look upon His sweet daughter with compassion and take her into His arms. In the quiet of her room we sang "Amazing Grace" - one of her favorite songs. And before we left the room, I knelt beside her one last time and sang in her ear those sweet words:
You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are gray
You'll never know, Mom
How much I love you
Please don't take
My sunshine away
I don't even know how to describe how today has been. I am so thankful for my family. I don't know if we are all walking around in shock or a massive bubble of grace. Or maybe a little of both. I know the hardest days are to come - after her Celebration Service when we have to get back to daily life. But for now I will simply take it a day at a time.
There's already a huge hole in my heart that no one can ever fill. Only Jesus. I miss her so much. I love her with all my heart. All I can ask for is your prayers. This is going to be a long journey with lots of ups and downs. I am thankful that His grace is sufficient. We are all going to so desperately need it.
"Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."