My grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease, the terrible disease that steals a person’s ability to remember. We had watched it grow from small episodes of Dementia to full blown Alzheimer’s. This woman that I had known my whole life was no longer truly with us yet she remained. My mom called to tell me she had been placed in the hospital. She told me not to worry about coming, but I was on my way regardless. My husband took care of my three girls and told me to take as long as I needed. The drive to the hospital was four hours away. It was just me, the radio and my Lord. I was intimate with Him with my concerns and worries. I cried, I sang songs of worship and praise, I reminisced to when I was a child at Mema’s house. It was a beautiful drive to the hospital…a REAL journey.
I made my way to the third floor of the hospital where I found my mom sitting beside her mother who was resting. She embraced me and thanked me for coming. The “Today” show was on the TV with a segment about the Winter Olympics. Mom caught me up on what the doctor was saying. Mema’s heart was growing weak again and they were recommending a heart catheter. Mom had already made the decision before I arrived to not have the heart procedure done. It would prolong her life but with what quality as she was trapped with no way to remember. Mom told me they were going to place her on Hospice care and get her discharged that afternoon. She asked me if I could stay with her while she went downstairs to call the Hospice company to arrange for them to meet her at the nursing home. I agreed – of course.
I was sitting in the chair right next to the bed holding her hand. She began to awake and turned to look at me. When she saw me, her eyes lit up and she said, “Gennie, what are you doing here?” She knew who I was. I squeezed her hand and told her that I wanted to see her. I got up and walked over and leaned in for a kiss. She looked me in my eyes and asked me, “Do you think I will know when I get to the top of the mountain?” This kind of question was not surprising to me as I immediately thought she was having a lapse in time and was falling back into her own world or another era or delusional make believe. We were taught to embrace her comments and not cause more distress by telling her that what she was saying was not really happening. I thought about the Today Show being on talking about skiing and mountains and had determined that she must have been hearing the TV which caused her to think about the mountains. I answered her with, “of course you will know.” She continued to describe what she was seeing. “Oh Gennie, I wish you could see it. It’s the most beautiful white. It’s so bright and beautiful. I saw my mom and my brother. They smiled at me.” As I heard her words, tears began to fall. She was not having an Alzheimer’s moment, she was truly seeing…a REAL journey. This moment in time took my breath away. She then took my hand again and said, “It’s okay for you to go, good-bye.” As I told her that I was not leaving I wanted to stay, she drifted back to sleep.
Mom returned to the room and I embraced her with tears. I told her Mema was ready to go home! I told her what Mema had said and tears began to fall from my mom. She told me that her Grandmother and Uncle never smiled! Wow! In Heaven they do! In Revelation 21:4, John tells us, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” This is GOOD news!!!
My father-in-law passed away on January 22, 2014. He too told everyone that was in the room with him that he was going higher and higher. The journey to our forever home is REAL! Jesus tells his disciples in John 14:1-4, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” This is GOOD news!!!
After the passing of my father-in-law, Ryan and I both began to feel a tug on our hearts to be closer to our family. Our time on this earth is so short in comparison to our eternal home. James tells us in James 4:14, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” We want to make the most of our time here and the precious people that God has given us to spend it with. We found ourselves in June of 2014 packing up our family and moving to the Hill Country where both of our families live. What a REAL journey it has been.
Every day is a journey for all of us. Are you making the most of your journey? Are you growing closer to Him? Have you accepted Him as Christ your Lord and Savior? Today is a good day to say YES! It’s one of the easiest and best decisions you will ever make. You simply invite Him into your heart.
“Father God, I believe in you. I believe in your son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for my sins. Thank you Father for loving me and preparing a place for me in Heaven. Please forgive me for my sins, Lord. I want to start new and have your Holy Spirit as my guide to help me journey through life and lead me to my forever home. I love you too! Amen!”
Happiest of New Year’s to you and yours! I’m looking forward to journeying with you through this REAL life with a REAL forever home!
I would love to hear from you if you have ever had the blessing of seeing someone journey home. Leave a comment and share your story. If you said YES, to Jesus today, please let me know either privately or publicly. I’d love to lift up PRAISES for my new brother or sister in Christ and pray for you as you embrace your new life! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is HERE!” 2 Corinthians5:17