Thursday, September 29, 2011

Goodbye Grandpa Sherbie

(written Sept 26, 2011 late night)
Today we drove to the three hours to say goodbye to Grandpa. Well, four hours when you count all the potty stops with a toddler in the car. Regardless, my prayer was just that we would have five minutes with Grandpa before he went Home to heaven. Getting a call at 12:30 (when we hadn’t eaten anything and were still 30 minutes away) saying we needed to hurry left me praying even harder. My prayers were more than answered. Not only did we get to go straight to his room when we arrived, but the girls got to come too. Honeygirl was her typical shy self at first, unsure of Grandpa with his various cords and IV’s. She did go right to GiGi and ask to sit on her lap though. There was her compassionate, sweet heart again – a snuggle was just what GiGI needed from her great-granddaughter. After spending a good 10 minutes in his room at least, we headed out to go to the waiting room where everyone else was. By this point, I think the tear stained faces had impacted Honeygirl. The minute we walked out of the room, she started sobbing in her daddy’s arms, “I want Grandpa Sherbie, I want Grandpa Sherbie.” My poor mama heart couldn’t handle it. It’s so hard to explain death to a not-quite-three-year-old. My poor baby just knows that something is not right: Grandpa Sherbie is in the hospital, everyone is crying, and he can’t really talk (02 mask over his face and sleeping a lot of the time). I held her and cried with her in the waiting room. After awhile, we pulled ourselves together and went back to see him again at her request. He woke up and told us he loves us, and Honeygirl sat on his bed and hugged him. A precious memory I hope I don’t forget. After some more snuggles with GiGi, I whispered, “I love you Grandpa” in his ear and we left.

I’m told that after the girls and I went back to GiGI’s house for rest time, there was an amazing time of prayer and hymn singing that lasted about an hour in Grandpa’s room. About 20 of his children and grandchildren surrounding him. What an amazing sendoff. I’m so thankful that the nurses were lenient and let him be surrounded by so many of us who love him so much. As I write this, it’s late and we are driving home. Before finally falling asleep, Honeygirl asked three different times if we could pray for Grandpa Sherbie. Her sweet little prayer was that Grandpa Sherbie would not feel sick anymore and that he would get out of his bed. Grandpa is still hanging on, but we know it won’t be long. Soon Grandpa will be Home. Goodbye for now, Grandpa.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Heaven

(written Sept 26, 2011 morning)

I’ve always wondered when the conversations would start. When is a child old enough to understand Bible stories? To start grasping details about Jesus and heaven? How do you introduce these topics? Well, this past week we found out. At breakfast one morning, Honeygirl asked her daddy, “Do you know where you are going?” He responded with, “Yep! I’m going to heaven.”
“Work?” she asked?
Okay, so she didn’t quite get it, but it made for the opening of a great conversation. He briefly explained that someday he will go live with Jesus in heaven. She, of course, wanted to know if she could go too. He said, “I hope so!”
Later, as he recounted the conversation to me, she asked if I was going to go heaven. I said I was. Again, she asked if she could go to. We told her that we hope she gets to go someday, but first she’ll have to tell Jesus she wants to go. By then, she was done with the conversation, but it was so sweet to have that first little talk.

And then as if one talk in the past week wasn’t enough, we got to have another conversation this morning. See, last night we found out that Grandpa Sherbie (my father-in-law’s dad) is in the hospital, not doing well. The doctors have given him 1-3 days at this point. We decided we needed to leave first thing this morning and drive the three hours to be with family and say goodbye to Grandpa. As we were getting ready this morning, I told Honeygirl that Grandpa Sherbie was sick and we needed to go visit him in the hospital. Her sweet, compassionate heart came right out. She was instantly concerned. “I need to give Grandpa Sherbie a hug and give him my blankie so he can be all better,” she said with a very concerned look on her face. At that point, we didn’t know if she would even be allowed on the same floor of the hospital as him, being as he was in ICU. I carefully tried to explain that I didn’t know if she would be able to give him a hug, and that it was just his turn to go live with Jesus. Difficult conversation to have for sure.

Honeygirl giving Grandpa Sherbie a hug this past May (with GiGi)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

White Boards and Milk Banks

This morning my daughter erased my white board. You know, the one up high out of reach where I write messages that need to get relayed, phone numbers I need but don't want to add to my phone, and other important stuff. Yep, she erased it. And sadly, there is not a thing I can do about it. She climbed up on a stool to get on the counter in order to reach it. And she erased it so thoroughly that there is no trace of what I had written there. So the only thing I can do is let it go. I mean, really, I don't have the slightest clue what I had written there. In a sense, it's kinda freeing. I now have a clean slate on the side of the fridge. Nothing to follow up on. (Sad for anyone who is expecting me to follow up with them though!)

The only thing I am sure was written on that white board was the running total of breast milk I have donated during the past year. Can you believe it? My baby is going to be one in only a few short days! With my abundance of milk, I spent the first 10 months of her life pumping at least 6 oz of extra milk each morning to put in the freezer. I did this solely for my own comfort. Yes, it's nice to know the milk is there if needed, but I really did it for physical comfort. Since I've only been working one day a week, we haven't gone through much pumped milk. And when I am away from Sweet Pea, I'm usually able to pump a similar amount to what she takes. So the milk has just been piling up. I feel completely blessed that the hospital I work at is also a donor milk drop-off site for the San Jose Milk Bank. Yay! So over the past year, every time the freezer has gotten too full of milk to accommodate the food that I also want to store, I've taken some in to the hospital to donate. I've done this four times. The first time I donated the most - 216 oz of milk! The three other times I think I've donated around 120 oz at a time. I've also given a total of 126 oz to a few friends who were in need of extra milk for their babies. So that would put my total somewhere near 700 oz! Wow! I feel proud to say I've been able to use the excess God has given me to bless others and help some very sick little kiddos.

Because Sweet Pea isn't nursing quite as often now, I don't have extra to pump. It's wonderful not being attached to my pump every morning, but also a little bittersweet knowing that the milk in my freezer right is probably the end for me. There may be one more donation at some point (since I still have milk from June in there!), but we're pretty much done with that chapter of life for now.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Driving

Today my daughter informed me that SHE was going to drive us to Grandma's house. She proudly produced a ring of keys to illustrate her point (they were plastic, but she wasn't fazed). When I responded that she wasn't quite old enough yet, she said, "Well, when I get older, I will drive your Honda and you will sit in the seat next to me." Good grief - how old are you? Fourteen? Oh, that's right...still two!

Friday, September 2, 2011

September already

It's hard to believe it's September already. School buses are back on the road and the nights are getting cooler again. Sad. This summer felt extremely short to me, based solely on the weather we've had. It literally feels like we've only had about 2 1/2 weeks of "summer" weather. Sigh.

In other news, the fact that September has begun means that my baby is already 11 months old! Where has the time gone?? She can climb the stairs entirely on her own. She stands for several seconds at a time. Her first two teeth popped through about a week ago. And she still likes to party once in the middle of each night. She loves sticks of cheese, Ritz crackers, cheerios, and watermelon. Earth's Best jarred baby food is still a staple in her diet. And the mere mention of "milk" brings a huge smile as she clamors up onto my lap for our "milky snuggles." The birthday invites for her party are sitting on the floor next to me, ready to go out to the family.

Honeygirl is as busy as ever. I am sad to report that although I know she is fully capable, potty training is still in process. She is one stubborn, defiant girl! If she deems the prize good enough, she has no problem staying dry all day. But if she doesn't feel like it, watch out. Grrr. She loves to color, play with her sister and watch me cook. She says things like, "Well, I was thinking we should..." "Oh! what a deal!" and "super-cala-fraga-listic-expi-ali-docious!" She eats like she has a bottomless pit for a stomach, and she gives the best hugs. She will occasionally rub my back and say "I love you, Mom."

Life is busy. Life is crazy. Life is frustrating at times. But life is also very good.