It has been a week since I last posted about Grandma Kristine. Our sweet Grandma has returned home to see her Cowboy, Jack, and to finally be at peace and free of pain.
We were able to bring her home to her old room in our house on Tuesday afternoon. Kip and his daughter Jaqueline had driven up that morning to see her and I am so glad that why did. It was really wonderful to have them here for her. Hank was here too and his fun and positive attitude and talk of root beer floats kept us all smiling. Jenifer Pitcher also come to visit and we had a nice time all hanging out in her room.
John checked on her every 2 hours all night and she seemed to stay the same.
Kip returned home Wed morning but I am sure Kristine knew he had come. Most of the day Wednesday, her breathing seemed labored and we tried to prop her up and find the mix of meds that would help her relax. A social worker and a nurse came in the afternoon and stayed for.ev.er. The social worker suggested we try to make the room as comfortable as possible for her by keeping it quiet and the lights dim. We laughed and told her that Kristine would prefer the TV on loud, cookies on the nightstand, Chuey zipping around, and maybe a few grandkids jumping on the bed. ;)
The workers finally left, and John and I went out to sit on the red couch downstairs just to get out of the room for a minute. I had read a really funny story on FB earlier, and I read it to John. We were both laughing pretty hard which was a welcome moment. We sat for a minute and John said, "It's pretty quiet in there." We jumped up, ran into her room, and with another shallow breathe, she was gone. The kids all were arriving home and they each had a chance to say goodbye before they came to take her. It was a very tender and peaceful time and I am so glad that our family and Hank could all be there for it.
It is a very special and sacred honor to be with someone when they are stepping out of this life and into the next one. I think of it a lot like the labor of having a baby. We are here awaiting the arrival of the baby, but they are leaving behind friends and family to come be with us. Just like when a baby is born, it is a spiritual time and the spirit world feels close.
I feel really blessed and honored to have had Kristine living so close to our family since Jack passed away over 7 years ago. Our family is so, so much better by having her love and example always near us. We had to give her lots of service in the last year of our lives and I cannot begin to explain what a blessing it has been to the lives of my family to do that (Sometimes it was really difficult, but I would't trade it for anything). We will miss her and I know she is finally at rest and free of the body that caused her much pain and frustration.