This photo was taken Nov 5th, last year.
My mother-in-law Barbara came out to visit around Bernie's birthday as she so often did.
Things were starting to get tough.
I deliberately chose not to share our trials on my blog as I wished for my blog to be a soothing place to visit.
I feel like the time to be open about this past year has come
I had started a new job that I didn't like and was facing a heart procedure in a few weeks.
A rift with another family member took place during the Nov. 5th visit.
Tears were shed and continue to be shed over that by all of us.
By the end of January of this year we had gone through several painful events:
I was in pain from the heart procedure.
My son lost his job with his first child due in three months; thankfully he found a new job within two months
Two days later I lost my job too.
I am still out of work.
And then things really got bad.
Mid February we got a call that Barbara was experiencing jaundice.
Adult jaundice typically signals pancreatic cancer; and this was true for her.
Knowing this we went to be with her in San Diego for her 82 birthday in early March.
The picture above was taken on that birthday day.
So many of you sent her warm birthday wishes, some of you knowing at the time what we knew.
The doctors said she had four to six months to live; there really was nothing that could be done to fix the cancer. She chose bravely and wisely hospice care over trying any extraordinary procedures that offered little hope.
Our prayer was that she would make it to her 60th wedding on Dec. 3rd.
Today we learned that the end is very near.
Bernie and I will be driving tonight to San Diego to be with her and Hal.
The 60th anniversary will be celebrated with memories only.
We have been so thankful that she had four extra months and that for the most part she felt well and at peace.
Her faith is strong; she told me yesterday that as she feels her body failing she also feels her spirit expanding.
I know soon she will be rejoined with her younger son Mark who left us for heaven three years ago this December.
Barbara has been a wonderful mom and mother-in-law and grandmother to our children.
During the past ten years we have traveled together to Hawaii, Scotland, around Texas, Colorado and Utah.
We had often spoken of how we planned on having her go along with us as we traveled after we retired.
I admit I am most dismayed that those adventures will not come to pass after all and that there will be no more visits with her in my home.
It has been a difficult year in so many ways; it has been a blessing to have her alive to meet her 7th great grandchild Luke, and to see the first of her grandchildren get a Masters degree, and to have her feel well for the most part.
Bernie was able to go be with her every month and I was able to visit a few times too.
Each visit...was precious.
Yesterday we talked and cried and laughed together over the phone.
Everything that needs to be said has been said.
Please be praying for us as we drive; Bernie has an injured knee that is adding physical pain to his emotional pain.
Pray that her passing will be easy.
Pray for the days ahead for her beloved Hal, and for peace to be restored with our estranged family member.
And pray that somehow, someday, there will be no more cancer.