Tuesday, November 12, 2013

{day 16} How things change in a moment

My how things change in a moment. I was over here writing the lessons I learned while my father-in-law was in the hospital. My three-post series on the Gift of Deep Submission was immensely gratifying, yet difficult, to write. Not because it has had the most hits on my blog but because in the process, I extracted from difficult days a jewel lesson for my own life.

Part of the journey yet to be written about is the path of  haltering and faltering days I would take weeks and months after my father-in-law Clarence was home. In the quiet moments after daily trips to the hospital were no longer required or bi-weekly visits to my in-law's home were not required, I would struggle with the immensity of what we had been through. People watched from afar. 'Those Jaegers they are soaring through this trial.' But, God is the one with the eagle's wings. He did the soaring. We were just along for the ride.

When He set me down on the ground, I needed to learn to walk without my flying legs. I felt lost. I wasn't where I was. Everything felt different. I knew I was changed but yet basic faith elements seemed difficult. At times I wanted to cry out-- 'Didn't all you bystanders see how hard it was? This trial we've been through?'  I'm not sure who I thought those bystanders were. I didn't direct my blame towards God but, in clarity of hindsight and acknowledging God's sovereignty perhaps my actions were denoting that I thought my way was hidden from God. Yet, God is good and kind and gracious with those of us He made from dust into His image. God reminded me to remember Him. Remember all the instances that He revealed His hands and His feet to us through real people showing up at just the right time. He reminded me of answered prayers.

But, oh my poor soul, it was still so downcast within me. It was work to praise the Lord. We had had about five months of non-crisis when I read about the challenge to write 31 blog posts on the same topic. I knew that I wanted to write The Clarence Chronicles. It was a series that had been in my head and this was just the challenge to get me to write them down. I wanted to remember the lessons He taught me and my family.

I knew it would be difficult for me to post every single day for 31 days. As the month went on and I became further and further behind, it became obvious I would not publish 31 posts in 31 days but I decided that I would just keep plugging away and continue writing the message even if it went past the end of the month.

Yet, I didn't expect things to change so dramatically about my very blog topic. Saturday, October 26th, would be the last day that my family would see Papa Clarence alive. We gave him presents. He looked radiant. He told us about the physical therapy he was doing and how they were helping him gain his balance. We felt encouraged that he would again be able to walk without a walker.

Three days later, he would be dead.We don't know exactly what happened. My mother-in-law found him at the bottom of the steps. She tried to resuscitate him, called 911, and worked until the emergency workers took over. They took him by ambulance to the hospital and he was gone.Gone from home, gone from us until we join him.

It has been a shocking time, especially after a year of hope, prayers, and progress. I am thankful that our last memories were lovely one.

I will still write of the lessons learned but I will be writing from a new place.

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This is part of the 31 Day series: 
The Clarence Chronicles: Lessons of Faith from the ICU
Click HERE to read Day 1, which links to all the posts in this series.

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  1. My friend. Hugs to you. I'm reminded of a conversation we had a while back about El Roi. After God spoke to her, Hagar says in Genesis 16:13, "You are a God who sees." We were both touched by that thought. God has seen you and has been faithful. I'm so glad the Lord provided some good times in those final days for you all to remember Clarence. What a gift!
    ~ with love, Kristi

  2. I am so very sorry, Kathleen. So very sorry.

  3. A remarkable man has departed this life. He left his walker when he went. I reckon he won't be needing it anymore...

  4. Kath, it's been a long time since I've 'visited'....so glad I stopped by. That photo of your father in law and I'm guessing your son (?) is priceless. It sounds like there was a lifetime of memories wrapped up in the relationships your family had with him. Now the letting go will last a while. I'm so glad you're writing through the pain. Typing this Thanksgiving morning--may God pour out his rich blessings to you in this coming season.


Thanks for being part of the conversation...I love hearing from you. Kathleen

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