Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hard Summer

Today is Saturday. We go back to school this coming Monday.  Boy summer, you went by way too fast and frankly if we split it up....June you were great,  July you were not.

As hard as this was....this is a treasured, treasured moment.
We were supposed to go to Canada, meeting up with friends and having a reunion with the families that adopted girls from China the same time we did. We all traveled together those 9 years ago and we get together every few years to keep the relationships going. The night before our trip my mom, whom we affectionally call Mom Jo, texted me to ask if she could come over and say good-bye and bring the girls treats for the plane. She literally lived around the corner so her popping over was completely normal. Because it was late and one girl was already in bed I asked her to wait until morning....and come before we left for the airport. She agreed and that was that. She would be at our house at 9am.

About an hour later, as she was sitting at her kitchen table her aorta suddenly tore. Yes, an aorta can do that. (Remember John Ritter's sudden death? Same thing.) Mom Jo was able to call 911 and was taken by ambulance to our main hospital with them still not knowing what the real issue was. Until the next morning during emergency surgery did they find the torn aorta. Up until that point it was assumed she had an aneurysm that had possibly burst. An aortic rupture can be much worse.

God rewrote the story
Needless to say we did not get on that airplane (thank God we weren't en route when this happened!), and were immediately thrown into discussions about emergent surgery, hospice, aftercare, rehab and the like. My dad had died 20 years ago so Mom was dependent on us for help.She was awake in the morning and coherent. She asked for the surgery knowing it was going to be a really rough recovery and rehab, but she was all for it. We said our goodbyes and all prayed together before she went in.

Six hours later she was out of surgery and the proud owner of a new, mesh aorta. It was nighttime at this point and we were told she would wake up in 2-12 hours. We all went home to sleep and returned in the morning to find she hadn't woken up properly. In fact she never would. Six days later as we all gathered around, we sang every hymn she held dear. We prayed. We laughed and told stories.  My mom was completely surrounded by the people she loved the most and lived her days for. We held her hands as she passed from this earth into the glorious heaven that awaited her. She had fought her her race and her time here on earth was complete.

This was not how summer was supposed to be. We are grieving but ok. All the littles are doing well. Death is a part of life and as Christians we are surrounded by this truth on a daily basis. Because my mom knew Jesus we were and are comforted with the hope that surpasses all understanding and teaching this hope to all our littles has been an honor. We miss her terribly. The girls miss seeing her almost daily. She was such an integral part of all we do. The new normal is still being established but we are so very grateful for all our family and friends who walked this with us. Are we ready for the school year to start and the crazy to begin? No. Not at all. However I do know that there will be the same grace for this school year that our entire family felt throughout this ordeal. God is real friends.....and his presence has been keeping us. Thank you for your prayers!

I will treasure this picture. So many memories.

Good bye Mom Jo. We love you.

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