Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
We knew the time was coming, and it wasn't that it was unexpected or anything, but death is always hard. We spent the weekend with family, and we shared alot of our best memories about Granny. Hugh and I and the kids stayed with his mom and so did Demetria, Kevin and their kids. We stayed up way too late sitting on Ms. Donna's bed talking. It was like old times, and I think it would have made Granny happy. It's strange how sometimes loss draws you all closer together, isn't it.
Demetria was kind enough to secure us a baby sitter for the visitation and funeral. Since it was so hot and many of Granny's friends would be in attendance, the visitation and funeral were held at the church with no grave side service. Our family did go out to the grave site in the early evening to spend a little quiet time and pay our respects. On the way, Trey said, "Grammy is up in heaven with Lord Jesus, isn't she?" Yes, my love she is. "Sometimes when you are sick or old you go up to heaven with Lord Jesus. That's where Grammy is. That's why her body looked like it was sleeping. She looked like an angel." I had actually kept Trey and Anna Grace in the vestibule until the baby sitter arrived and while the rest of the family went down to the front of the sanctuary. They did have to pass through the sanctuary on the very far left side to go back to the nursery. It's amazing to me that he internalized all of that by just a glance. He said he missed her, and I told him it was ok to miss her, because that just means we love her, and Lord Jesus understands that.
When we got to the grave site, everyone took a moment on their own. Ms. Donna and Demetria helped Anna Grace take a rose to press in her Bible to remember granny. Trey told Hugh he wanted to sing Grammy her favorite song (You Are My Sunshine) but, he was afraid she wouldn't hear him. Hugh assured him that Jesus would let granny hear him. So he stood there and sang very quietly, just as he had always done when he went to visit her. Such sweet moments.
We loved her so very much and we will miss her tremendously, but we have a peace knowing she is with her Lord and there is no more pain, no more suffering. She is at peace. Here are some of my favorite pictures of our Granny/Grammy.
A picture of Granny that Hugh took when he flew down home for his mom's graduation from nursing school.
I am three months pregnant here with Trey. Granny and Ms. Donna flew up to visit with us in Ohio. They also came for Hugh's white coating ceremony when we lived in Kansas City, but I can't seem to find a photo of that right now. We were at the airport here.
Granny holding her new great-grandson, Trey the morning after he was born.
This picture means so much to me now. The look on her face as she is holding Trey brings tears to my eyes. You can see how proud she is and how much she loved him right from the start.
Ms. Donna, Granny and my aunt Cathy with Trey. This was taken the day they were flying back to Mississippi.
Granny's first time to meet Anna Grace. They were both excited to see each other.
Sweet smooches from her Grammy.
This is one of my favorite pictures. I took this three years ago at Thanksgiving. Granny with her three daughters, Barbara, Jean and Donna. They are all so beautiful. Granny had this picture up in her room at Graceland.
Love you Granny.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I really enjoy my children and had hopped that I would be home schooling them. Many of you that know me, know that this has been a desire of my heart. I even worked on a few pre-school activities at home with them over this passed year. We talked about it and prayed about it, but Hugh never felt that was where God was leading our family. I'm going to continue to work with Anna Grace in the mornings while Trey is at school. And of course I'm going to supplement and do whatever I can to foster and support what Trey is learning as well. I have fond memories of my mother sitting down with me after school to ask me all about my day and help me with homework.
When we were looking at houses back in December, we met Nicole, a doctor's wife, whose house we were actually considering. We hit it off and talked about the hospital there in town (where Hugh will be moonlighting,) finishing residency, moving and buying our first home. It was so nice to meet someone who knew and understood exactly where we are in life. She had also been in education before becoming a stay at home mom, so we had that in common as well. She really gave insight into all the schools in the area, public and private. She knew about teachers, programs, and each school's teaching philosophy (creative, learn through play, as opposed to a more structured classical approach.) She even gave us contact names and numbers.
Hugh was the one whom took initiative and contacted all the schools for information. I was still holding out hope on home schooling, but I was keeping an open mind. There was one private Christian school in particular that Hugh was interested in. I think he tried to persuade me to seriously consider it, as much as I tried to persuade him on home schooling. I couldn't understand why we would consider paying for pre-school when I'm perfectly capable of teaching them here at home. I was, after all a pre-school teacher before we had children. We compromised on narrowing it down to two schools, one public and one private to pray about and seriously consider. They both came highly recommended and fit our philosophy of education. They also both had waiting lists. So when I called to make the inquiries, I found that the public school was closed to applications and had already chosen their students for the year. We thought we may have missed out on the chance for Trey to get in preschool for the year, and Hugh agreed that if the other school was closed as well, I would teach Trey at home, and we would put him on waiting list now for kindergarten next year. I called the private school and found that they had one opening left, and it just happened to be in their four year old pre-school class. We took that as a sign that God had definitely closed one door and opened the other. We had our answer. We have actually met several people in our new neighborhood had through visiting churches that have had their children on the waiting list for a couple years, and couldn't believe we got in. It was definitely the Lord.
We started the application process in March and Trey was accepted in May. Because it is a Christian school we had to sign and agree to their philosophy and mission statement, give two references (one from our pastor, and another non-family member,) and give a written statement on what we expecting the school to provide for our child both educationally and spiritually. We were able to take a tour of the school when we got here, and Trey even attended a four day summer camp they were offering. He was immediately hooked. He talked and talked about school and even went to bed early every night because he was so excited about being ready for school the next day. -Thank you Lord!
The thing I like most about the school is that it is not merely a Christian school in name only. They take their spiritual leadership and education as serious as they do their formal education. I would say 95 percent of their faculty and staff currently serve in ministry in some capacity or have been involved in missions. Many of them have lived in foreign countries serving on the mission field. All of the teachers have degrees in their specialty area and most have advanced degrees. This has really helped me to let go of my disappointment, and embrace the excitement of this new stage in our life. It will help us to get to know people in the area and Trey will make new friends. And we (Hugh and I) feel a peace that this is where our family is supposed to be and serve. That makes all the difference in the world. I'll have to share pictures of his first day. I hope you are enjoying the last couple days of summer with your family and the special little people in your lives! ~Blessings!
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Hugh surprised me with breakfast and then we took the kids swimming. We are really enjoying our new pool. I think the kids are about to grow fins with all the swimming we've been doing. It's actually been the best part of our summer. After our swim, we decided to drive down to Grenada to see Granny, or Grammy, as our children have affectionately named her. This is a picture of Granny and Hugh, when he graduated from med school.
Isn't she beautiful? She is such a sweetheart. She is in a nursing home now, and we know it won't be long before she goes home to be with the Lord. We are trying to spend as much time as we can with her. A few weeks ago, Demetria, Kevin, Kaden and Russ came to spend the weekend with us, and it just so happened to fall on Granny's birthday. So we took some flowers and sang her Happy Birthday. I'm so glad we got to do that together.
Yesterday, we were there for a while before she recognized us and knew we were there. Hugh found a hymnal and I held her hand and sang to her for a while. Mrs. Donna, Hugh's mom had told me that singing songs from her childhood helped to trigger her memory. She would close her eyes every once in a while, so I thought she was drifting off to sleep. I had the sweetest moment with her as I was singing How Great Thou Art. Her eyes were still closed, but she lifted one of her hands to heaven and said, "How sweet it is. How sweet it is." I can't tell you how much that blessed me. When she opened her eyes, she looked right at Hugh and said, "Well, hi there!" as if we had just arrived. It worked.
Ms. Donna arrived a few minutes later with Trey and Anna Grace in tow. She had taken them to Walmart. She had Hugh help her set up a stereo in Granny's room, so she could listen to praise music throughout the day. She also asked the lady whom sits with Granny to read scripture to her everyday to keep her calm and her spirits lifted. While we were there, Anna Grace came over and gave her Grammy a kiss, and Trey held her hand and sang her favorite song, You Are My Sunshine. We were going to put on her music and quietly slip out, but granny asked me to keep singing to her. Again, what a blessing I received.
Ms. Donna came over to my side of the bed and started singing softy along with me. I was fine until she reached out and held mine and Granny's hand. I just got choked up. After a moment, I was able to regain my composure and finish singing with her. We left shortly there after because they brought Granny's dinner down and we could tell she was tired. Ms. Donna took Trey and Anna Grace and slipped out a few minutes before us.
When we were leaving, Hugh looked at me and reached out his hand to take mine. Neither of us said a word. We didn't have to. We had one of those moments I cherish in marriage where so much is said without a word spoken. We know each other so well that we know what the other is thinking and feeling, and so much can pass between us in the silence. It is so nice to be known, to be understood. What a blessing it is to be married to your best friend.