Almost A Week Ago…

Almost a week ago, we got the call that everyone dreads getting.  It came at 2:40 in the morning, and, for once, I didn’t even hear the phone ring.  It was the hospital calling, telling Ed they didn’t think his mom would last much longer…

The ordeal had begun just five days earlier, with another early morning call, on Thursday.  An aide, who happens to be a neighbor and life-long friend, called to say that Vivian had been sitting up in her chair all night.  The aide went on to explain that Vivian was suffering from so much pain in her shoulder that she was unable to sleep.  This was the second time, within two weeks, this had happened.

Previously, Ed had made a midnight trip to the ER with his mom, where the doctor could find no apparent cause for Vivian’s shoulder pain, other than an old injury from a fall.  The doctor treated Vivian for some mild congestive heart failure, by increasing her medication, then released her back to the personal care home. (I now believe the shoulder pain was coming from her ailing heart, which was beginning to fail.)

After that second call, on Thursday morning, Ed made his mom another doctor’s appointment, but when he called the p/c home to tell them about the appointment, they informed him that his mom was now throwing up, too.  Vivian came to the hospital through the ER, and was admitted.  As the doctor struggled to find out the cause of Vivian’s shoulder pain, her condition began to rapidly deteriorate over the next three days.

Vivian’s white blood cell counts were high, so she received antibiotics.  Tests revealed that her kidney function was beginning to falter.  She refused to eat.  By Monday, Vivian was in even more pain than before, and was very short of breath.  The doctor mentioned possible dialysis, if things didn’t improve soon.  It became apparent, we may be losing Vivian.

Vivian slipped away from us about 3 o’clock Tuesday morning, September 10.  Unfortunately, Ed and I didn’t make it to the hospital in time to say good-bye.  We missed her by less than 5 minutes… Ed and I both hate that so very much.

Our oldest son, Brett, was one of the last family members to see Vivian alive.  Late on Monday evening, when Brett arrived, Vivian was sleeping. He briefly woke her to let her know he was there, and she acknowledged his presence.  He told her that he loved her, that Jesus would take her home when He was ready, and then Brett prayed with his Mema before he left her. Six hours later, she was gone.

I’m so thankful Brett had a chance to say a final good-bye to his Mema.  I was comforted when he told me about his visit, and his final words to his Mema.  I’m also thankful I spent some time with her earlier in the day, and held her hand for a while.  It was tough seeing her in so much pain, and not being able to help, but seeing her pain made saying good-bye a lot easier.

Our sons and daughter posted some touching tributes (on Facebook) when their ‘Mema’ died.  I want to preserve them, for remembrance, so I’m posting them here.

They are as follows:


Brad- A while back, Mema wanted me to take her to Beards Creek cemetery to visit Grandpa’s grave. She didn’t say a word the entire time we were there, but the emotion was overwhelming. I wanted to capture that poignant moment so I sneaked this picture. Yesterday she was called home to be with the Lord, and tomorrow we will lay her body to rest beside his. While we are sad for our loss, we know she is in a perfect place, and that she is happy to be together again, forever, with Grandpa.

Brett- Mema showed the love of Christ to me by loving me and taking me in when I was most unlovable. I thank and praise Jesus Christ for her, I love her, and I will miss her until we meet again.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Brandy- The Lord came and took my sweet Mema home yesterday. I am so thankful to the Lord for allowing us to have her for so long. I find peace in knowing she is home now and no longer in any pain. Please keep our family in your prayers.

100_2292 (2)

Our beloved, Vivian

1922 – 2013

Weep not for me though I am gone into that gentle night.
Grieve if you will, but not for long upon my soul’s sweet flight.

I am at peace; my soul’s at rest, there is no need for tears.
For with your love I was so blessed for all those many years.

There is no pain; I suffer not, the fear now all is gone.
Put now these things out of your thoughts, in your memory I live on.

Remember not my fight for breath, remember not the strife.
Please do not dwell upon my death, but celebrate my life.

(author unknown)

Published in: on September 16, 2013 at 7:43 am  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like Vivian was a wonderful mother and grandmother, and was loved by many. What a nice online tribute to her. I am attending a funeral later this morning of a church member friend of mine. Thankfully we know that God’s promise of eternal life has made a new home for both of these women.

  2. i am praying God will comfort Ed and your entire family as you say good bye to Vivian. It is always hard to say good bye. Thankfully you have the assurance that she is safe in the arms of Jesus. What wonderful memories you will have of this beautiful lady.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. It’s so sweet to see the post from your children and the love you all for her. I pray that you feel the love of God and His arms around you at this time, giving you peace.

  4. ((HUGS)) Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Beautiful post of remembrance…..

  5. Sorry for your loss. Know that Vivian is in good hands now.

  6. I’m so sorry for your loss. May your precious memories give you peace and comfort. {{hug}}

  7. My sympathies to you and Ed.

  8. What lovely words your children had for their grandmother. I know she was special to you all, and while you are thankful she is at peace, the missing is hard. Hugs to you today.

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