It was a year ago today.
One year ago that I said good-bye to her.
I had gotten the dreadful call the night before from my mom.
You know the one.
Decisions had to be made and fast. I spent two hours on the phone trying to get airplane tickets changed, tickets that had already been purchased to spend Thanksgiving there now needed to be changed at the last minute so my family and I could fly in a few days earlier….but no luck.
Changing airplane tickets was not going to be the answer to my situation.
The decision came down to this: drive in to say my last farewell to the only grandma I ever knew or not make it in.
My heart broke thinking of the possibility that I wouldn’t be able to see her one last time. I so wanted to be there, to let her know how much I cared, to give her a hug and a kiss on the forehead….. to let her know one last time how dearly loved she was. I wanted to whisper into her ear, “Thanks, Nana. Thanks for loving me so well. I love you dearly…..”
Traveling back to Indiana once I started my own family was hard. Flying on an airplane from Dallas to Indianapolis with babies and toddlers was never easy and because of that my visits became less frequent.
I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t wrestled with some regret this past year.
At 8:00 that night I called my husband at work, he was working a night shift that evening and wasn’t home to know what was going on. I informed him of the situation with my Nana and asked him if I could drive my our 3 young girls, one only being 3 months old at the time, and my mom to Indiana in time to say our last good-byes. I knew it sounded crazy….but I had to try.
Reluctantly he said yes and by 10:00 that evening I had all three children, my mom and myself packed, in the car and on the road.
My mom and I drove through the night taking turns off and on while the other one tried to sleep. I drank lots of coffee, prayed for protection over us as we drove through the night and reminisced with my mom during the drive. By 7:00 am that morning, we received a call from my uncle asking how close we were…the doctor didn’t think she would make it much longer. I was driving at the time and I could tell by my mom’s responses what my uncle was telling her. Tears began streaming down my face and I started praying as my mom was being updated on my Nana’s condition. I poured my heart out to God. I told Him of my desire to have just one last opportunity to thank her and let her know how much I loved her. My heart was breaking with the possibility we might not make it in time. The drive from Texas to Indiana was about 16 hours…..I was trying my hardest to get there as soon as I could……within the boundaries of the speed limit . At times I felt like we were crawling…..inching our way to Indiana…..minutes felt like hours.
As I was praying and driving……pouring my heart out to Jesus……He comforted me.
As I began to fear we wouldn’t make it in time, I approached an underpass. On the first column as we entered into it someone had spray painted…..”Trust Jesus!”
The timing was to perfect.
I knew those words were meant for me.
And so the fear that had invaded my heart was suddenly replaced with a peace….I knew we would make it in time…and we did.
I was able to see my grandma one last time, to whisper into her ear how much I loved her, how thankful I was for all she did in my life and how much I was going to miss her. My mom and I sat in her room that day, reminiscing of the days that had too quickly passed and sharing our favorite funny stories with her one last time. We had our own special Thanksgiving Day with her…..one that wasn’t filled with yummy foods but rather with memories, laughter and tears as we expressed our thankfulness to her for a life well lived and to our Lord for how He protected us all those years……looking back, we could see “Trust Jesus!” written all over our lives.
This Thanksgiving as I look over the past year, I’m so very thankful for a Nana who invested in me and for a God who hears my prayers and replaces fears with peace…. reminding me to trust Him each and everyday.
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts…… And always be thankful.
Love God Greatly!