Saturday, April 10, 2010

Celebrating Life...

This post was originally written last year. It was written with a prayerful heart, for I was remembering and celebrating a lot during that time. It was Easter weekend, my dad's birthday and the two year anniversary of my beloved Nanny. While dealing with all the many conflicting emotions, I wrote. Writing is healing for me.
Again, this year I was doing some much needed cleaning and once again found a very special photo. So I decided to repost this very special diary of my loving thoughts, since I hadn't met many of my bloggy friends at that time. So, bear with me as you read it, for tomorrow is not Easter, and it will actually be three years now, but the heart felt words remain stronger than ever.
Happy Birthday, Dad!
Hope you have a beautiful day tomorrow! I love you very much. Thank you for letting me share this story. I pray that it will inspire others to love a little more, hug a little more and SING always with a loving heart.
Nanny, in a few days it will be three years, that you slipped quietly from this world. I still remember you asking me for "permission" to "go see Jesus." I still remember being the one watching take your last breathe. I thought I would be devastated, but I can still see the yearning in your eyes to "go home." My heart still aches a little, I still want to pick up the phone and call you. I still miss you terribly. Yet, I know you are in a beautiful place, squeezing the Lord tight, because you can't live without your hugs. Thank you for being an example of how to love and be loved. I love and miss you bunches and bunches.
Dear friends, hope you are having a beautiful weekend! During your busyness, remember to take time to show those you love how much you care.
Again, thank you for letting me share again this beautiful example of how we should all celebrate life.
*********************
It was two years ago today. We were all gathered at my Nanny's house. Years of dealing with a congested heart had caught up with her. She was now in bed surrounded by family and friends with the help of hospice. She was very weak and could barely speak, mostly she just slept.

It was also my dad's birthday. What a birthday gift to sit and watch the minutes tick by, as your loving mother rests, wondering if each breathe she took would be her last. I still remember the heartache I felt throughout the day for my dad.

However this wonderful woman he called "Mom," even in her weakened state worried about her baby. She managed to express to us her desire to get him something for his birthday. He would often tease her about getting out of the bed to bake her a pie, for my Nanny was certainly the best cook in the world and she could make a scrumptious coconut cream pie! Yum! I can still taste it. So the cousins and I concocted a plan to buy her a pie as a substitute for one of hers, in place of a birthday cake.

All morning my Nanny seemed silent, like she was concentrating real hard about something. She was VERY weak and drugged, so any coherent sentence from her took a lot of effort.The plan was in place. We set the pie on her lap and called my Dad in. We all kind of said the "Happy Birthdays" for her and Dad smiled his big smile for his beautiful mom. But then in the quiet, we all heard a harsh whisper;

"Hap py BIRth day tooo........you. "

My Nanny was singing the birthday song. Now you have to understand, my Nanny couldn't sing. There have been so many stories told and jokes said about her singing, that it isn't even funny. But, there in the stunned quiet of the room, this wonderful woman we all loved was singing her last song, to the son that she loved. It was the most beautiful song I've ever heard!I realized in that moment that she had been working all morning to remember the words, to save her strength so that she could sing for my dad. It ended up being her "perfect gift" for him, the pie was totally forgotten.


My Nanny would go to be with her Savior two days later. But she was able to leave a lot of love and precious memories behind. Now I know you are probably wondering why I chose to write a story about the passing of my grandmother on my dad's birthday, so I'm going to tell you. I was digging through the pictures, looking for one of my dad, so I could write a "Happy Birthday" post and came across a very special photo taken exactly two years ago. I debated for a minute and decided that it was very appropriate.You see, not only is it my dad's birthday, but it is Easter weekend. This picture and memory represent to me what Easter is all about. Life and death and HOPE!




I have been truly blessed to belong to a family who raised me to know my Savior. This week it is important to reflect on the hope we have in Christ, for every moment is precious...minutes ticking by. The Heavenly Father who gives us life, also brought us hope and a wonderful reason to celebrate!

Happy Birthday, Dad! I love you! I know Nanny is up in heaven with Jesus celebrating your special day! I wonder if they are having a slice of coconut cream pie? :)


(Poohpa (my dad), with Kayla and Jordan)

To the rest of the world...
Happy Easter!
May you know the peace that comes with knowing and believing in the Easter story.

11 comments:

Carpoolqueen said...

I am crying in my office. This is a beautiful story...just beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

She is singing loudly in heaven today.

Jim said...

Sis,
Couldn't ask for a better present - that was an awesome 65th - one I will never forget. I still hear her singing and on key! God gives grece, does He not? Love you.
Dad

Amber said...

Okay...now I'm a slobbery mess...and you warned me. So not fair!

Love you. Thanks for writing this...I never would have been able to.

snoodlings.com said...

I came over from Mer's blog.

Oh, this is just beautiful!

Thanks so much for sharing it today.

S and J said...

Beautiful post...just beautiful.

Christi said...

What a sweet post...a beautiful gift for your dad.

momstheword said...

What a beautiful story. I love how she was able to sing Happy Birthday to her son, one last time. How my momma heart understands how badly she wanted to do that!

Maybe she is sharing her pie with my dad, as he loved pie! They're up there waiting for us someday, my friend!

He & Me + 3 said...

I didn't know you back then...so I am so glad you shared this again. Happy birthday to your Dad! What a beautiful story and gorgeous pictures. It is a blessing to be part of a family that knows the Lord and serves him.

Jim said...

Sis,
Thanks again for the reminder of a great birthday. Today's has been another milestone - 68 - but don't feel a bit older than my "actual child" age of 13, well, maybe, "double nickel" - 55! I know, I know, who am I kidding? I've got my "bags" packed (below the eyes!) and still on the go!

Had a great service this morning with my Korean friends from the Korean mission we started 3 years ago in Paducah. They are on their way back to Seoul, Korea to pastor a church - we were the last stop on their visit around the country. The wife is the one who took the songs I wrote in Bangladesh and put them to music. She sang 2 of them this morning for my birthday, then her husband preached. It is a great birthday!

Love you,
Jim-Dad

Gretchen said...

So sweet. I'm here to catch up with you, and how wonderful that I happened upon this post. Makes me misty. Blessings, friend.

Kristin said...

Mich, I enjoyed reading that so much. It brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful story! I am getting caught up on my blog reading. Thank you so much for all your sweet comments on my blog. They always brighten my day so much!!