Saturday, May 9, 2009

What I Would Have Said

A while ago I changed the first song on my Playlist. I think of Sharon (Nana) when I hear it, and I wanted to share it with you. Here are the lyrics:

Finally Home

by Mercy Me

I’m gonna wrap my arms around my daddy’s neck

And tell him that I’ve missed him.

And tell him all about the man that I became

And hope that it pleased him

There’s so much I want to say

There’s so much I want you to know

When I finally make it home

When I finally make it home

Then I’ll gaze upon the throne of the King

Frozen in my steps

And all the questions that I swore I would ask

Words just won’t come yet

So amazed at what I’ve seen

So much more than this old mind can hold

And the sweetest sound my ears have yet to hear

Voices of the angels

I never actually explained exactly what happened, did I? There actually aren't a whole lot of details, because even though she had cancer (lung and lymph node), she was doing quite well on her treatment plan. Even with the really tough chemo--she just kept bouncing back. Wednesday morning (April 8) she drove herself to a doctor's appointment where she had plans to meet up with her husband (aka Poppy) on his way home from his latest trip out (he's a railroader, by the way). While in the doctor's office, she started coughing. We were told that she began coughing up blood (which has happened before), but that it was a LOT. They rushed her to the ER, but it was too late. She had lost too much blood. They think she burst an artery. It all happened so fast. NOBODY was prepared for such a shock. (I just wanted to get that cleared up because I didn't want to leave the impression that she had lived with cancer for many, many years and had withered away to nothing, because God, in His mercy, didn't let it come to that for her.)

Though her wishes were for me to sing at her memorial service, and I was somehow able to get through THAT, I would have loved to have been able to speak, too. I knew I was in no shape to do such a thing, so I didn't attempt it, but I DID write something during our planning craziness--something to help ground me. So, this is what I would have said...

I had the best mother-in-law in the whole world. She genuinely cared what I thought, she always made me feel at home, she treated me like her own daughter, she encouraged me as a mother, she prayed for me and my little family, she made an effort to come visit us at our house, she was our babysitter countless, countless times, she knew the little quirky details about my personality (and liked me anyway), she inquired about my friends and family, she considered my likes and dislikes, she loved her grandchildren so much that they were like her medicine when they were near.

Holding Grandchild #5

I will never forget that she coined the phrase, "doot-doot'n-doo" to mean "extremely fancy," that she played "Best Jump Ever" with the kids, that she wanted them to think of "Nana's house" as the fun place to get dirty, go swimming, and maybe even have a little sugar (and still apologized to me for wanting to give it to them), that she bought way too much for all of us, that she and the kids always did "Double Love" when saying goodbye, that she worried about her own children (behind their backs), that she thought LUNCH--at Ihop (pancakes and all)--was the best, that she bragged about her grandchildren so that people who were never around them felt like they knew them anyway, that she took care of her aging parents with grace and joy, that she thoroughly enjoyed her QVC (ha!), that she glowed with the love of Christ through the worst kind of suffering, and that she withstood all of it because she was strong in the Lord and because of her great love for all of us.

I actually think I may be starting to grieve all over again. I feel it creeping up on me, as Mother's Day approaches. I know Paul and Wendy feel it so much more, but I--being the resident shopper of all things gift-related--am hating the fact that I don't have a Mother's Day gift for HER. In fact, the last time I was in Conway with her she told me that all she wanted from then on (and for any occasion) was pictures. I so wish I could give her what she wanted.


  1. Wow...
    All I can say is "wow," because in all of it, and in the very little, wonderful time that I got to spend with "Nana," everything that you said is beyond-words true. She was so precious, and I will never, never, never forget the first evening that I got to spend with her-- the night Noah was born. We spent a great deal of time waiting in the waiting room while Lori labored, and then when we finally were called back to Lori's room, we looked upon that beautiful, precious baby. Nana and I were standing at Lori's right side as Lori held the baby, and we were looking at him with such awe (he being Nana's first grandbaby, and my first nephew). I began to cry-- it was such an amazing experience, and Nana just wrapped me up in her arms and said "I just love you." I'll never forget it because she really and truly did. For no reason at all, this precious woman of God took me into her life and loved me as if I had a right to be there. That is the kind of woman that she was. Thank you, Father God, for Nana, and for what she has meant in my life. She is always going to be missed...

  2. I really thought I'd fixed the problem, but no... I don't understand why your blog doesn't show up in my reader. I keep coming her to leave a comment after something you said and find I've missed stuff... so I'm going to have to remember to just check it.
    Anyway... that was beautifully written and you are very blessed to have had a mother in law like that. I jokingly say I want to write a book about all the things I need to NOT do when I have 3 (or 4?) daughter in laws of my own... but all those are definitely things I SHOULD do.
    What a great example.


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