What a busy week it’s been for me!
If you remember my last post, I shared with you my birth story, and the happy news about finally finding our perfect home to move into, and the even happier news that Aaron is back working full-time! Also, that my graduation ceremony was just days away.
God has certainly been throwing lots of big life changes our way, and no matter how busy or stressful I’ve been, I have to remember how blessed I am. This week, however, God gave me and my family another life altering experience; one that I would have preferred to not experience. My Grandma passed away.
She was 94 years old, and lived a great life. She died in her sleep. We couldn’t have asked for a better way for her to go and meet Jesus. However, I’m so sad that she did not get to meet Josephine. I had planned on going to see her in a couple weeks so she could meet our new baby girl.
Once preparations for Grandma were made, I was planning to take Josephine to her casket as a way of saying hello and goodbye. Unfortunately, the day of her wake was the day of my graduation ceremony. I thought about just skipping the ceremony, but I realized that Grandma would want me to be at my graduation. So I went. I know Grandma was there with me in spirit. My thoughts were on her as I crossed the stage to get my degree. I have to say, I was so emotionally overwhelmed that day. Experiencing my graduation, and knowing that my family was saying goodbye to my Grandma at the same time.
Once the ceremony was over, we went straight home and went to sleep. We had to wake up at 4am so we would have enough time to get to her funeral in Chicago by 10am in the morning. I didn’t sleep much because Josephine wakes up to nurse every couple hours, and she has also been feeling yucky. Gas pains and spitting up. Poor thing. I was exhausted once the alarm woke me at 4. I got the girls ready and we all hit the road.
We had to stop several times so I could nurse Josephine and change her diaper. She was not a happy girl and it took a while for her to calm down enough to get her back into her carseat so we could drive on again. We were late to the funeral service. Once we finally got there, Josephine was awake and crying. I had to leave the pew and I went into the bathroom to nurse her. I got to hear the service through a speaker in the bathroom. I started crying when I realized just how late I was. I heard someone say, “Ok gentlemen, take your gloved hand and grip the handles…” They were carrying her out the doors to the hearse. I heard a sweet familiar song through the bathroom speaker; an Irish lullaby called Tura Lura Lura. It’s a song that Grandma sung to all her children and grandchildren when we were born. I softly hummed the song to Josephine as I nursed her and wept.
Aaron and Faith were waiting for me by the doors when I finished nursing Josephine. We drove to the funeral. It was such a cold, windy and gloomy day for mid-May. Aaron stayed in the car with Faith and Josephine as I stood with the rest of my family near her casket. We each grabbed a few flowers to take home as keepsakes. The casket was lowered in the ground.
Afterwards, we all went to lunch. I was so tired, and my back was hurting horribly. Jo was awake and wanting to nurse again. I went out to the car to nurse her. I decided to leave early. I was extremely exhausted and in pain. I wasn’t looking forward to the long drive home. I knew we would be making lots of stops to tend to the girls. I knew we wouldn’t be home until late. I did get to take a couple pictures while I was there. Everybody loved seeing baby Josephine, and I was so glad that my girls put smiles on their faces :)
The drive back home wasn’t as bad as the ride up north. We got home about 8:30 pm. Aaron and Faith went to sleep. Josephine was still having tummy trouble. It took a few more hours for her to finally get to sleep. Her and I slept on and off throughout the night. It’s tough being a newborn. So many changes happening to her little body. I’m sure she’s as exhausted as me.
The concept of death has been a hot topic for Faith lately. I think she somewhat understands that Great Grandma is in Heaven with Jesus. Great Grandma didn’t need her old body anymore, and that she has a new Heavenly body now. She is happy and healthy again. Faith has so many questions. This is one thing about parenthood that I didn’t practice how these conversations would go in my head.
When my girls are older, I hope they will consider this blog as a modern day baby book for them. What I want my girls to know from this week is this; life happens fast. Big things happen when you least expect it. Some good experiences, some bad experiences. Sometimes changes happen quickly, and sometimes very slowly. No matter what happens in your life, keep hold of the Lord’s hand and you will get through it all! Every life-changing, bitter-sweet, happy, sad and exciting moment is an experience that God has allowed you to go through for a reason. Grab on to Him tightly, trust Him to always guide you, and always always stop to remember how blessed you are.
“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.”
I love you Grandma. Until we meet again…