On Friday, May 3, 2013 God called my sweet Grandma home to live with Him forever. Her 79 years of life were not without trials, but she always found the blessings when others would have focused on the negative. My Grandma as always been a huge part of my life. When I was very little, she kept me while my parents worked or went on dates. When I was 7 she moved in with us. We traveled together a good bit. At first just to the coast to visit my Aunt and her family, but then also to Disney World and to California when I was in high school. These past, almost 5 years, have been full of lunch dates. She always had some piece of advice to give me while we were together, even if it was as simple as how to clean a television screen with a dryer sheet. She loved my children and husband also. In fact, I am pretty sure she might have loved my husband more than me. She loved spoiling my children and made sure that anytime they were at the house, they had something to take home with them, even if it was a small snack. She loved knowing everything that was going on with our family. She enjoyed knowing my friends and what was going on with them as well.
On Sunday, April 7, 2013 my sweet Grandma was admitted into the hospital. Little did any of know the road that was ahead and the limited amount of time we still had here on earth with my Grandma. At this point the doctors informed us of a massive tumor growing form her ribs, pressing on her lungs. They also told us of the same cancer being found in her brain. This type of cancer (neuro endocrine) was aggressive and fast growing. They told us that usually patients with this cancer had 4-6 months to live. However, God gave us some sweet memories during this time in the hospital.
On Friday, April 19, 2013 we brought my sweet Grandma home. She was nervous but full of joy knowing we had spent so much time getting things ready for her. The next week would be busy with radiation and physical therapy every day. Again God was gracious and gave us what we needed, when we needed it to be there for her, as well as some precious memories.
On Tuesday, April 30, 2013 my mom and aunt met with my Grandma's oncologist and were told that the cancer was growing faster than expected and was found in more places. He told them as gently as possible that she probably had another month, possibly a few weeks. That night we had a sweet little birthday party for my princess. We had not had a family party yet because of everything else going on. However, things had settled down a bit and we had gotten into enough of a routine that we figured it was time to make this happen. Grandma had so much fun. She propped up the hospital bed in the front room (which she never used) so that my princess could be "Queen for the night". We had the best time!
On Wednesday, May 1, 2013 it became very obvious to all of us that she was not going to radiation. So, we helped make her comfortable and called hospice.
On Thursday, May 2, 2013 a hospice nurse and aid came and made my Grandma pretty. They also were very honest with us and said my sweet grandma might not make it through the weekend. Grandma was less aware of what was going on and by the end of the day was mostly asleep the whole time. While in and out of sleep she talked some, saying things like, "It is marvelous!" and "You aren't going to believe it!" and "It's amazing!". When we asked her to tell us what she was seeing she told us about a big angel. She also said there was lots of ice cream! I personally have no doubt in my mind that God was giving her glimpses of heaven.
On Friday, May 3, 2013 we woke up as normal and went straight to check on Grandma. Pretty soon we realized that we were not going to be able to wake her and get her to respond. The next few hours to be honest were somewhat a blur. I know that I spent this time helping my mom getting things done for church. Then the hospice nurse came and confirmed that she was in a coma light state and that we should go ahead and call family to see her. My uncles were in town at this point and so we called them to come over and put my other aunt on speaker phone. Our precious senior adult pastor from our church also came over. Around 11:45 am, he came and gathered everyone to come back into her room. I have never been with someone when they went to be with Jesus, but I knew I wanted to be there with her. I was a little nervous, but so thankful to be there. As I entered the room I realized that her breathing had changed. No longer was she struggling to breathe, but breathing short soft breathes. My mom told my grandma that we were all there and it was okay. My grandma opened her eyes for a minute and then closed them. She knew we were there. She knew we loved her and she knew it was time to be with the love of her life, Jesus. Not long after that, her heart simply slowed down until it stopped. There was no gasping for breathe or struggle of any sort. She peacefully entered the presence of her Savior!
On Monday, May 6, 2013 we had a family time of visitation. This was the first time I had seen her body since the Friday before. She was so beautiful in her turquoise dress. Her hair was fixed so wonderfully and her make up looked amazing. However, she wasn't there. As I looked at that beautiful body, I realized she was wasn't there. She was forever praising her Savior! So many people came that night to public visitation. Some were people that knew my grandma when she was younger, and some were sweet ladies who knew my grandma these past few years. All talked about what a blessing she was to them.
On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, exactly one month from her entering the hospital, we celebrated the life of my Grandma during a sweet service and then took her body to be buried.
This past month has been a whirlwind. A whirlwind that changed me forever. I have memories that I will hold on to forever and I believe that God taught me some amazing things about His love for His love during this time. He made me stronger. He grew me. He also blessed me tremendously. During a time that most would be desperate and without hope, I have found myself filled with peace and a hope of eternity with Christ that is even stronger. I have found myself being thankful for things that most would be angry about. I have found myself being more aware of how amazing God's love s for us.
I am thankful for my Grandma, Merna Mae Morris Morphew, and the impact she had on my life. I am thankful that one day I will be with her again and we will worship our Savior together!