Dear friends and families and first time viewers,
If you haven't read my previous blog on fires I kindly ask you to take a moment and gather some context for this blog. If not no biggie, but probably this blog will make more sense if you've read the previous. :)
I've had thoughts swirling in my head since my mother in law Lorrie died a little over a month ago. Part of the fire raging in our lives was her diagnosis of metastasized lung cancer that had made its way to her brain and kidney before any of us knew it existed. It was 7 weeks and 5 days from her diagnosis to death. What a sad, emotional, and deep time of crisis this was for our family.
We felt like we were in crisis mode from November on because after the brain radiation took place Lorrie deteriorated very fast. The cancer started ravaging her body to the point she became bed ridden very quickly because the cancer had invaded her spine making her unable to walk. It had also invaded her left shoulder which was just awful because she was left handed. Everything seemed to happen so fast, from the cancer spreading, to her pain level increasing by the day.
I have never personally witnessed such a fierce and hateful disease as metastasized cancer until this past few months. None of Lorries family or husband had any idea the cancer would take her from us in less than 2 months. Doctors weren't giving any kind of clues but we all knew it wasn't good when they said she was too weak to fight the cancer with chemo. All our world's grew darker and the days became heavier when we were told this.
My husband is such a strong man (he's always been the rock in our family) and I saw him in tears a lot during this time. I had to be the strong one for him and after 10 years of marriage I admit I didn't know what that meant. Now, having gone through that deeply sad time I am somewhat aware of my shortcomings as a wife.
But, having had the funeral about a month ago life just keeps going. It doesn't stop for us to grieve. Not with my husbands full time job, not with my full time stay at home mom career either. Grief comes in waves and memories come and go from certain things Lorrie loved, to jewelry she has given me, to a purse she bought me from her travel to South Africa. Lorrie's memories are all around us. Most definitely her love for Brayden we miss above most things.
Knowing Lorrie is in heaven because her faith in Jesus Christ and God is comforting, but we definitely mourn for ourselves and our son because we lost a great friend, mom, grandmother, wife and sister in Christ. We rejoice that she had a special connection with God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit living inside her.
Our mourning will be a process as the waves of grief sink in. Some days it doesn't feel real. I just want to pick up the phone and ask if I should bring Brayden over to play so she could get her "Brayden fix."
Some special things and memories that will remain are that Lorrie owned a travel business and loved to travel. She had been to over 115 countries. She always knew the best places for us to vacation and always worked within our budget. We will miss her immense knowledge.
I will personally miss her telling me I was a good mom on days I doubted myself or my abilities to care for a son that goes to special therapies every week. From her death bed, she told me I was beautiful and I must never forget that (a personal struggle I've had all my life).
These things make me sad but I know Daniel and I will see her in heaven one day and that I pray my son comes to know the Lord so he will be reunited with Grandma one day too.
Romans 12:12 states,
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Once my husband and I grasped Lorrie's suffering we prayed earnestly for it to be short and for God to take her home to heaven. So, in the world's eyes her suffering was short. But in our human understanding we didn't expect it to be less than 2 months.
I will remember feeding her fresh baked chocolate chip cookies when she didn't want to eat anymore. I wafted the smell of chocolate under her nose and with eyes closed I broke off pieces for her to eat. I believe it was the last food she ate only a few days before she passed. I did delight in getting her to enjoy something one last time.
We've told our son that Lorrie is his angel looking down on him, watching out for him and protecting him as God would. We will share with him photos as he grows up and memories of Lorrie holding him after he was born in the hospital. Memories of her reading books to him on her lap.
Like I mentioned in the title of this blog, flames of the raging fire have turned to smoke and if we are not careful they can be suffocating (much like what happened to Jack Pearson on the latest episode of This is Us). We must fight the good fight with God and Jesus and the holy spirit living inside us. 1 Timothy 6:12 tells us:
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
The main crisis of our lives is over but my sweet boy still needs me to fight for him and his PT, OT, and speech therapies and to practice with him so that his little body becomes stronger each week. This is my job, I take it very seriously.
Lorrie as a stay at home mom fought for my husband Daniel. When he suffered from a learning disability as a child and ADD she got him help so that he could excel and succeed. She also made my husband know he was safe in her presence and that their house was a safe place for him. I will take these memories my husband has told me and strive to do the same for our son and God willing an adopted little girl one day.
Here's the last documented memory of Lorrie with Brayden on her hospital bed...
Lorrie, may you be looking down on us now with a great smile and be having a ball in heaven! We can't wait to see you again. It won't be too long. (sigh) Our true home is with you, we know that. Your safe and without pain now Lorrie, more than we could ever ask and hope for. Your finally home.