So now I am single, moving to Rhode Island for nurse anesthetist school and my good friend Kirstyn had been the answer to my prayers as she had found us an apartment. School was starting July 1st and I had much to do to prepare for the move from Arizona to the east coast.
My grandma, still suffering from Alzheimer disease, was being cared for by my parents and home hospice in Kentucky. For days now my grandma had been agitated, attempting to get out of bed, uncomfortable and screaming, “God what is taking you so long!?” She was ready to go home.
My mother at this point is emotionally exhausted, sleep-deprived, and at her wits end struggling with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. I prayed daily for God’s peace to permeate my mother and my grandmother’s life.
I passed on Smokie Norful’s I understand song to my mom:
“He knows just how much you can bear
And in the time of trouble He promised
He would always be there
Oh, I am the Lord, I see you, and, yes, I understand
He says, I am the Lord and I changeth not
And I won’t forget nor have I forgot
And everything works according to My plan
I am God, trust Me, I got the whole world in My hands”
Because just when we think we can’t bear another day, God steps in, right on time, just as He promises….
June 6, 2014
90 degrees of heat warmed me immediately, as I stepped out of the cold hospital walls and into the 4:00 a.m. desert air. I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket and thought I must have forgotten something at work and went to turn back when I saw that it was my mom.
“Hello,” I said.
“Hey Amanda, it’s mom. Umm grandma seems really uncomfortable and I don’t know what to do for her.”
I asked my mom to explain to me what was going on. “Well,” my mom said, “she has been really quiet and sleeping since about yesterday (HUGE change). Her breathing is quick and she sounds a little gurgly. I’m worried she may be in pain…”
As my mom continued to describe her observations of my grandma I knew immediately that the time of her death was drawing near. I interrupted my mom and gently said, “Mom, it sounds to me like she is entering her final stage of life. From here it could be hours, maybe a day. Are you going to be ok?”
My mom quickly said, “Yes, I just want her to be comfortable.”
For the next couple hours I coached my mom on how to comfort her mother in her final hours including instilling medicine along her gum line, how to comfortably position my grandmother, how to provide oral care and wash her with a warm wash rag. I also told her to talk to my grandmother, as hearing is the final sense that departs our bodies. As soon as my mom felt my grandma was comfortable she climbed into the bed next to her, held her and sang her her favorite songs.
When I got off the phone with my mom at around 6:00 a.m. I knew that when I would wake up later that afternoon my grandmother would be gone. It was then I went to YouTube and put on Tasha Cobbs rendition of “Break every chain” and I fell to my knees singing the lyrics over and over again: “there is power in the name of Jesus.”
Immediately the presence of God filled the room and I felt such a powerful uplifting of His peace, strength, and love. I played the song over and over again, raised my hands to the sky and sang and prayed to God with no shame, no fear, just the raw emotion I felt in my soul. When I brought my hands down I knocked my Bible on the floor and it fell open to
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” NIV translation, The Daily Walk Bible.
I read the Psalm over and over again, still on my knees, singing and praising God until I eventually fell asleep. I woke up around 1:30 pm that afternoon and called my mom knowing what she would say. My beautiful grandma was gone, but she had died PEACEFULLY, in my mom’s arms, in her own home. GOD IS GOOD.
She was home now, in a place where she would no longer suffer, lying in plush green pastures, with a well of refreshing water at her feet, the sunlight on her face, beside the Father.
Thank you for sending us Jesus, our chain breaker. Thank you for working miracles in our lives today. Remind us that if a door is closed, that we should humble ourselves and praise You in the hallway. When the storms rage, may we be renewed by Your strength and praise You through it. I know you will see us through our trials. Your timing is perfect, Your ways flawless, and Your love enduring. I trust you, Jesus, I love you, I receive you, and I thank you for the enormous impact you have made in my life and those around me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.