Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hallelujah Moment

i am tired,
but before i sleep i want to share....
the details of the day my granny went to heaven.

but let me start first a few hours before today,
yesterday afternoon....

granny had only had the strength to ask for water about 3 times throughout the day...
and by the time 5 o'clock came, she was in a deep sleep,
not opening her eyes, not talking,
just breathing.

at 5PM, unexpectedly, everyone left the hospital,
exhausted,
but God ordained for me a time with her,
just me and my granny.

alone with her, i thought, what do i do?
sing. so sing i did, voice and all.
i prayed she would hear the voice of an angel
and it would have had to be a supernatural intervention,
because i ain't no angel-voiced lady.

i sang
"It is Well"
"I'll Fly Away"
"How Great Thou Art"
"Great is Thy Faithfulness"
"There's a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in this Place"
"Jesus, I Adore You"
and then i sang them again.

sometimes i couldn't remember the words,
so i looked them up on my iphone.
sometimes i could barely make it through the song,
but i kept singing in a broken voice.

did she hear me?
i don't know but when i sang"It is Well" one time,
I could see her lips moving in such a way that I think she was singing along with me.
i am almost sure of it.

i read scriptures to her...
i knew that Psalms 91 and Psalms 23 were two of her favorites,
so I read her those,
along with a few others sprinkled in.

i laid my face next to hers,
i got close to her and hugged her,
my tears fell upon her cheeks.

she didn't arise
or open her eyes
or talk to me,
but when i left i felt that i had just experienced
3 of the most precious hours on earth that i have ever had.

so this morning,
i thought, goodness,
do i go right back up to the hospital?
after all, we had been told that 4-7 days was a realistic time frame for granny,
but something drew me there,
and by 8:30am, i sat there with mom.

granny's breathing was shallow and she looked pretty awful,
but these were expected changes.
around 10:30, mom said we should start thinking about granny's funeral.
so i got out my laptop and started typing some ideas for the service.

Mom said, "let's put a title on it called 'It's a Hallelujah Moment.'"
It was an idea given to her by a friend who had lost her son years before.

I typed that phrase at the top of my page and
at
that
instantaneous
slice
of
a
second,
something changed in the air.

mom and I both looked up at granny
and realized that her breathing had stopped.

i went over to her and touched her chest.
i felt her neck for a heartbeat.
she was warm.
but her heart beat no longer on this earth.

i didn't plan it friends,
but out of me sprang
a song,
one i hadn't thought of the night before...

"Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Amen."

i looked up; i thought she might be looking at me from there,
i smiled through the tears at Granny and her Hallelujah Moment.

9 Wonderful Responses:

Rena said...

Overwhelmed with emotion.

Amazed at the Almighty. I'm so thankful He ordained that time for you, then for you and your mom. Annie, when I read your post yesterday on facebook, when I saw the words to that song you just posted here, I wondered. Did she? Is she . . . gone? I praised with you for a moment. Then I ached for you.

Later, someone posted the words to Jesus, Jesus, Jesus in your facebook comments. And then I was reminded of the time of Joe's Nan's (his mother's mother) passing. Last night we talked about it. We felt awful that we could not pinpoint if had been in 2000 or we were a little off on the timing.

But what I will never, ever forget is that last night we saw here. Joe's mom called us over. I went into the bedroom where her bed (a hospital type bed) was. I just looked at her teetering between here and eternity and I knew--we all knew--she wanted to go, to be with Him. I felt compelled to sing. To sing:
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
There's just something about that Name
Master, Saviour, Jesus
like the fragrance after the rain
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away
But there's something about that Name.
Nan sang faintly with me. I have no singing voice. But I belted those notes out. Or words. Maybe not notes.
And when Nan and I sang, I felt His Presence. It did not feel like we were here on this earth. My heart ached. For my mother-in-law, my husband. Nan's family. But I knew she was ready to fly to Jesus. I was so thrilled for her. Later that night we got a call from Joe's mom that Nan was gone.
As you know, I did not have those grandmother experiences. The closeness, the memories.

But I felt the hole of loss that may have been just a drop in the bucket of what the rest of the family felt. However, that moment alone with Nan, in part, my mother-in-law too, as she came and stood by Nan's bed when we sang, we so precious. So amazing.

I am beyond grateful to Him that you were there with Granny. Helping shout her in!! HALLELUJAH! PRAISE HIS NAME!

I pray His grace covers, His love covers. I KNOW IT WILL! IT WILL! I wish I could be there with you. But I will be praying. I've thought of your family. Of your Ellie. And Annie, I since so strongly, as real as the breath I breathe, that He has Ellie covered so beautifully as He does all of you.

I love you my Sister and friend from afar! Today, I will rejoice in praise with you for Granny!
Some day, Granny, we, too shall meet!

Kathleen said...

Oh, but I could not even get through this!! What a precious, precious few hours you got to spend with her, Annie! And I know she heard the voice of an angel as you sang to her. What a glorious way to leave this earth and go Home to her Father!

Shannon said...

such a mash up of emotions...so glad you got to be with her - she heard every beautiful note I am sure. I am also sure she is rejoicing with the angels. What an amazing lady, and I say this as one who never met her - except through you. What a testament to her and her faith lived out in you. Well done Granny!

momof4kr said...

A Divide Day indeed!
YOU are her Legacy and YOU will carry on her Love for Jesus.
In fact...you already have.

ellen said...

Annie,

You are wise beyond your years. Yours sweet words always bring me to tears. I know your granny is so proud of the Godly woman you are.

Ellen

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

What an amazing blessing, Annie! I'm so thankful that you were there as Granny moved to Heaven, and that you have such peace about it.

Sure hope 2011 is absolutely wonderful to your beautiful family. XO!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Annie! You are so blessed! You sent Granny off "in style", girl! You loved her well, my friend. Thanks so much for sharing those special moments with your Granny.
Helen Harris

Dawn said...

What beautiful last moments.

I was just telling my mom tonight how neat your Granny (and your whole) was/is. I told her how she had touched lives she'd never even met.

Love and prayers, my friend.

Baloney said...

I cried when I read this. It doesn't matter what a person's age is, we are never ready to let them go.
I know that her last moments were better for having you there.
What a treasure she was for your entire family and an inspiration to all of us who read your blog.
Praying for you guys.