20 days ago we left home and drove to PA to visit our grandparents. The hospice nurse that is caring for our grandfather (who has advanced emphysema), called and told us there was a good chance he would not live out the night. It was evening, but we decided to leave right away. (Except for Daddy who was at the Father’s Journey to the Heart program.) Because we had been anticipating a last-minute trip to PA, we just needed to throw together some last minute things that had not already been packed. Mommy was on the way home from an all day trip to Asheville (2 hours away) for doctor appointments when the phone call came. Timing was perfect, and we left at 6:30 PM. Three of us took turns driving all night and we arrived safely in PA just after 6:00 AM. What an exciting introduction that was to our journey!
The past 20 days have been…well, interesting. There are a thousand words to describe everything that has happened these past few weeks. Blessings, challenges, joys, sorrows, good times, difficult circumstances, waiting, hoping, praying… God has been here with us every minute of every day. When I think of all that He has been to me, to us, to our family this week, I am overwhelmed by His love and faithfulness. He has been our Comforter, our Strength, our Shepherd, our Provider. He is the giver of joy and hope. He is our refuge and the truth that gives us freedom. He is behind every smile, every laugh, every song we sing. There are times when serving becomes so tiresome, and when thinking about home is just painful. It’s hard to sing in the rain. It has not always seemed like a wonderful adventure as you might imagine it to be. And yet, with each passing day it gets better and better. There is something about opening your eyes to a whole new perspective – God’s perspective – and seeing something beautiful that wasn’t there before. Or was it there all along? A wonderful lesson of character, of growing, of stretching. We’ve talked throughout the week. We’ve been encouraged by each other. God has been so gracious and merciful to pull us back into line again and again. He has patiently, gently, tenderly pursued us with His fatherly love and heart of understanding.
Looking back over the past 20 days, I have to say it’s been such a rewarding time of bonding with our grandfather. We have smiled, laughed, shed tears, held hands, prayed, and just sat around his room waiting, watching, being there. And it is by the grace of God that we have yet another day to share with him in this life! Yes, we have so much to be grateful for!