Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Year Later, AM~Erica Contemplates

So anyway...

I am taking a moment as I plan the upcoming weekend to reflect on a year ago. That's because a year ago yesterday, I lost my grandmother. Alzheimer's took a beautiful woman, a beautiful soul, a beautiful mind. And, with the circumstances surrounding her not knowing anyone by the time she left the earth, I am still saddened. I am really choked up thinking about it.

Last year, my hubby was at Missouri United Methodist Annual Conference, and I was with him. And it was Sunday morning when my mother called me with the news. Though I was sad, I was still at peace with her going. Her quality of life was not serving her well. However, I was sad for my mother & her siblings. They worked so hard to keep visiting her & try to keep my grandmother as sharp as possible as her mind continued to slip away. That's what broke my heart.

Today, I remember back to last year being in the presence of United Methodist clergy & laity. The annual memorial service for those who have gone on before us took place on Sunday morning. We had planned to go, but I was having difficulty focusing. But my hubby & I went anyway. It was hard at first, but it was such an odd service, it actually helped take my mind off of things at hand.

But I also remember my friend, who is a pastor, Jenn. She could tell from a mile away that something wasn't right with me. She could tell it at the memorial service. When we returned to the convention center, where the meetings are held, she tracked me down to find out what was up. I broke down, and she prayed for me & with me. I will be forever grateful for that.

Later, my pastor friend, Angela, ministered to me without even realizing it. She ministered to me through her butterfly necklace. I have had quite a draw to butterflies for years. I have my own Theology of the Butterfly. (feel free to ask me about it...I never mind sharing it) Angela shared a God-filled inspired message to me. Almost a mini-sermon & she had no idea. She didn't know what I was going through, but God knew I needed that message.

I found out at my grandmother's visitation that she had a draw to butterflies, too. And a butterfly had a long visit with one of my aunts on Sunday...the same day I got my word about her & the "butterfly visit".

I'm having a harder time today thinking about all of this than I thought I would. I'm really choked up as I am putting these thoughts out here.

The thought runs through my mind as to my "condition" I was experiencing the week leading up to it. I know I should've seen a doctor...but I hate going to the doctor. Ask my hubby, he gives me a hard time about he should. But I had been waking up in the middle of the night, every night, and not sleeping well after that due to chest pains that would set in. It would last through some of the morning, but would dwindle away & I'd be fine the rest of the day. Weird, I know. Not good, I know. However, that Sunday morning, I dreaded waking up in the middle of the night expecting the pain. I woke up at 2-something, but no pain. I went back to sleep. When I got up, still no pain. Then I got word about my grandmother.

Though I didn't have much interaction with her through her last few years of life, I think she might have been going through something in those last few days beforehand. I can't explain it, but all I know is that she died in her sleep sometime between Saturday night & Sunday morning. I can't help but think that she may have left around 2-something on Sunday morning. The pain was gone. I felt it & didn't know what it was.

As weird as it all sounds, it so incredible, and still hard. But God has given strength through all of it.

I am so grateful for the memories of my grandmother. I learned even more about this remarkable woman after her passing & was even more amazed by what she'd done in life, and also more saddened by what this nasty disease did to her.

I am also so grateful for the gathering of such wonderful clergy & laity every year. God does great things. I pray for everyone durning Annual Conference that the Spirit moves in & through all of you. Each of you are a blessing.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica


PS ~ I saw that Ray Bradbury died today at age 91. Lil guy heard me telling hubby about Ray's passing & lil guy asked how old Gigi is (my living grandmother). I paused & told him she is 91. He responded with, "I hope Gigi doesn't die." I'm in total tears. Just heartbreaking. Hard, hard, hard...and I'm with lil guy. Me, too, lil, too. *cries*

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