Friday, April 21, 2017

Long Saturday

So, I guess that's a record...4 months without writing.  I have sort of resorted to smaller Facebook posts to journal my continued journey without Rachel since spare time is something I have nothing of these days.  I'm okay with it, I suppose it's a natural progression of life moving on - even if some days my heart is planted back in 2010.

It's been a wild 6 weeks - Matt had to leave state for a work trip and I planned on staying home with the kids for most of it, with a visit or two in between.  And then that Monday morning he left.  And I missed him the very second he walked out the door.  We got news that there was a big storm coming that next day - 2 feet of snow expected.  Isaiah had an appointment at the cardiologist for a heart issue he's been having and while we were there, I discovered Asa had conjunctivitis, so by the time I got done with the cardiologist and the urgent care... and then the pharmacy - it was 5pm... but being who I am, I started packing and at 9:20pm, we got in the truck and headed out for the 3 hour drive to where my man was. 

We spent the next 4 weeks in a hotel room together, doing our school work and taking field trips while Matt worked and then getting to eat dinner with him before he was falling asleep sitting up after a 12.5 hour shift each day - but there was nowhere else I'd rather be than next to him. (and missing multiple big snow storms while we walked around in 60 degree weather!)

We ended up coming home a week before him and on Good Friday, he was allowed to leave a few days early because we got news that his Memere wasn't doing well.  He got home that night after 10pm and the next day, we drove 3 hours north to visit his Memere for what would turn out to be the last time we would see her here on earth.  I'm so thankful for him that we were able to make that trip.

On Good Friday, I had wanted to visit Rachel like we usually do and I just couldn't make it happen.  The kids and I went to the service at church that night and although Ezra distracted me from a lot of it, I was so thankful to be there and to have 6 of my kids here with me and to know that my 7th is safe in heaven because of that very day.  I decided we'd go visit Rachel Sunday instead.

Matt's grandparents have been married for 72 years.  They lived in the same house for most of their lives and it wasn't too long ago that his Memere ended up needing more care than his Pepere could give and was moved into a nursing home.  Pepere visited all the time of course, even trying to break her out of there at one point, which was a great story...  it wasn't too much longer and he was moved into the same home and the two of them ended up in rooms next to each other with a bathroom in the middle that they shared. 

I know nobody ever wants to live in a nursing home, but if I make it to my 90's and Matt & I can go together, it would be okay.  I've found that most everything in life is okay if I have him with me, holding my hand.  Marriage is a true gift from God and his grandparent's lifetime of love through good and bad, joy and sorrow, sickness and in health, until death separated them is something I think most of us admire and would love to know ourselves. 

Last Saturday - the day between Good Friday and Easter - we were visiting them and his Memere was not responding, although I know she knew we were there.  At one point it was just me and them in the room and his Pepere got down on his knees on that hard floor and held her hand.  He told her over and over how beautiful she was and how much he loved her.  I'm telling you, my heart was both in awe and breaking at the same time.  I cried standing there watching him just love on his bride.  So much went through my mind.... how hard it must be for him, and for their kids - how on earth you say goodbye to someone you've spent your entire life with... how painful life can be even when it's long and happy... how amazing their story is... how much I hope Matt & I get that much time together... and how fast time goes by. 

But the one thought that I just couldn't shake is that the day before we remembered Jesus' death on the cross - and the day after, we would celebrate his resurrection... the day He overcame death and conquered the grave... the hope of eternity and that heaven is REAL...  But in between those two amazing days, there was Saturday.

Back in Jesus' day, his followers were heartbroken on Saturday.  They didn't know that the next day, He would rise from the dead.  They had just watched him die and were shattered by the pain, I'm sure.  We are blessed with knowing the ending to the story, but that doesn't mean the pages between the beginning and the end won't bring us to our knees.

I remember going to visit Rachel in the funeral home on the way home from the hospital and, even though I had just had a major surgery, I dropped to my knees at the sight of her on that couch, and told her how pretty she was and how much I loved her over and over and over....

And there I stood, watching his Pepere do the same thing with his bride of 72 years and all I could do was cry and pray... 

Because Friday had come and gone and Sunday wasn't here yet...  It was still Saturday and Saturday hurts sometimes.  Even when you know that Sunday is coming. 

I leaned over to say goodbye to Memere and I whispered "When you get there, give Rachel a hug for me, ok?"  and I know that happened. And one day, when my long Saturday here on earth is over, I will do the same.