Friday, April 13, 2007

Wal-Mart Burial Plots?

Have you ever had someone tell you, other than your spouse, they want to be buried right beside you when they die? My sister informed me of this particular wish just today. Now, you would have to know her to realize how BIG this is. She is actually my step-sister, but since I dislike the thoughts associated with that term, I do not refer to her as such. We have a close bond and always have. She has always been the "planner" of the family. She has a schedule for everything. She is presently living out of state, but when she lived here, in my town, you had to get "penciled" into her schedule. She had the weekends and all the family activities well planned and organized and she made sure her time was spent wisely.

I wasn't expecting to get a call from her this weekend since she was home for Easter. I had gone to Ross', (big surprise) to browse around their fantabulous aisles when the call came. It's only fitting she would call me while I'm shopping. Did I mention that we are the absolute bestest shopping buddies? We were once hailed the Wal-Mart queens, but since being introduced to Ross, by me, of course, it has now been lauded as one of her faves also. Since she doesn't have one where she lives she is anxious to enter the doors of the one here when she is home. I am more than happy to accomodate her. Anyway, she ask me if I had gotten her message. I told her that I had not. She nonchalantly proceeded to tell me what she had been thinking concerning this burial idea. She also told me she knew of a place we could get our plots and how cheap they were. Now of course, I'm thinking she is just adhereing to her normal "plan ahead" behaviour. This would only make sense considering since we both have turned thirty, our birthdays come faster than a jet propelled anything!

She begins to tell me about a place she remembers visiting as a small child. These were family gatherings that involved all the hide and seek you could handle, as well as some roughing up by cousins that made you glad it was once a year gatherings. Easter. She was saying it was Easter festivities that brought them all together. With the recent Easter weekend home these memories were stirred and she remembered the small cemetary located on the same property. Upon further investigation, she learned she could purchase two plots for a very reasonable rate.

By this time I am standing in the aisle getting all sentimental feeling my heart being squeezed to the moment of tears. I am soooo honored. I mean, she wants me. ME to be buried beside her. Not her spouse or any of her children. ME. What in the world have I done in her eyes to be offered such a position? My life has impacted her more than I realized. My mind is in a whirlwhind of thought. Was it something I said? A simple act of kindness? Just as I was about to start babbling like an idiot and right before the snot started to trickle down my face along with crocodile tears, I composed myself long enough to finish hearing her reason. WAL-MART. She found out that Wal-Mart had purchased the site of those family gatherings. Along with the purchase agreement, the cemetary was to be fenced in and maintained with members of the family having burial options at reasonable rates. As a kind of shopper's last stand, she wanted us to be buried together on Wal-Mart grounds. Now is that sisterly love or what???

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sucessful Surgery!

It has been a cloudy and drizzling day on the outside, but a wonderful day of praise and gratitude unto God. My cousin called me about 11:30 a.m. to inform me that my aunt was being taken to surgery 3 hours ahead of time. I was totally unprepared for this and was in a race to get to the hospital before they took her back.

The hospital parking area has been under construction for some time now. This means that parking has been redirected to a large lot a few blocks away where shuttle buses then transport you to the main entrance. Terrible. Terrible. Terrible. By the time I pulled into the lot and parked, two of the shuttles had already collected their umbrella waving passengers and headed out, leaving the smell of diesel fuel behind.

I dropped my umbrella on the wet pavement trying to get to the bus stop. I was trying to hurry because I thought the next shuttle would be rounding the corner any second. NOT. I didn't bring a jacket with me cause I just knew it was going to be warmer out than it was. Well, it wasn't. It was cool and in the forties, and I was standing jacketless under a leaking shelter. Praise God! I am really not complaining here. Just sharing what happened. *smile*

I finally made it to the surgical floor to find my aunt's surgery in progress. I was a little dissapointed, but I knew I didn't have to be there. God was there long before I arrived and His presence is the most important. The surgery was to take between an hour and an hour and a half. Patiently we waited. It was two and a half hours before the doctor would come in and give us the report.

All is well. She sailed right through it. (his words) Didn't loose much blood so she didn't need to be given blood. He kept telling us how smoothly the surgery went as if he was surprised. I wasn't. I knew all along that the prayers of His saints had been effective. The Lord had been there from the beginning, guiding the entire process. Faithful is He, as always.

We were anxious to see her, but had to wait until the nurses had her stable and back in her own room. She was still very groggy from the medication, as expected, but she spoke immediately as we entered. I overheard the nurse expressing concern over the amount of visitors she had. I decided I would leave since I had "checked in" on her. As I was saying my goodbyes, her son and his wife decided to leave also. Then, her other son (the only one there) decided he wanted to go and get something to eat. This would leave no one there with her. He then asked me if I wanted to sit with her for awhile. I did. She would doze off and on to sleep. I just sat in the chair beside her bed looking at her face. I could see the relief she felt of having the surgery behind her. I could also feel the wonderful peace of God in that room. I can never thank Him enough for His care. Hallelujah!!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Trusting God


My aunt had the stress test today. Praise God! She came through it just fine. Thank-you, my friends, for your prayers. She is feeling so much better today. I know that she feels more at ease about the surgery, which is now scheduled for tomorrow. I appreciate you all so much. It is so heartwarming to come to my "spot" and find the comments of concern and encouragement. It means more to me than you know.

It's never easy watching someone you love suffer in pain. My aunt, bless her heart, fell two weeks ago and broke her shoulder. She is sixty-five, long divorced and basically lives alone. Immediately after falling, she was taken to the hospital. This is when she was told it was broken. The shoulder was placed in a sling and she was told to return by fifth of April to see what was happening with it. She was informed at this appointment that it was not healing the way they had hoped it would. This would mean surgery would be necessary. Not what she wanted to hear.

She called me in tears with last Thursday evening with the news. Worry was all around her. "Can you please go with me?" she asked. She always wanted a daughter, but since she had all boys instead, four to be exact, she adopted me. A role that has been a pleasure. This is my mother's sister and one of the most unselfish people I know. My mother and father were divorced when I was four years old. Needless to say, it was alot tougher on single mothers at that time. The resources were not readily available as they are now. Money was not always there for the extras, but this aunt made sure I, and my siblings had plenty for Christmas. She ordered our presents from the Sears catalog right along with her boy's items. This secret was not revealed until recently.

Her surgery was scheduled for this morning. I knew she would have an anxious night of worry, so before bed I prayed for her. I prayed for peace, comfort, and rest to be unto her. After my time of prayer, I felt the need to call her and let her know that everything was going to be fine and that I would meet her at the hospital. One of her sons and his wife wanted to drive her there.

She was taken back shortly after arriving. The nurse told us we could go back and visit with her after the prep, two at a time, until she was to be transported to the surgical area. By this time, her other two sons had arrived. I wanted to go back and pray with her before she was taken out (I knew she wanted this too), but I didn't want to intrude on her children's time. I chose to wait it out and go in only if the boys suggested it. They did.

When I got back there to her, she was nervous, of course, and had been poked several times without success. Her veins had collapsed. I sat down and we prayed. She had a heart attack several years ago and this impending surgery was a concern. They came to take her to the surgical waiting area and took us to a larger family room. This cut the visitors to one. She was told only one person could stay with her until the anesthesia was administered. She seemed to be calmer, but this was temporary.

After the routine anesthesiologist questioning, her anxiousness returned. He was concerned that her heart doctor had not signed off her surgery. He told us he was going to call the cardiologist before proceeding. I knew this put more worry into motion for her. I tried to calm her. I told her that whatever happened we were going to look at it as God's will because we had placed it in His hands. He always knows what is best.

It wasn't long before the answer came from the cardiologist. NO. He wanted her to have a stress test before having this surgery. All the while, my aunt thought all of these concerns had been addressed before now. Here we were in pre-op, and there has been a change of plans. I have never heard of this happening before, but I know God was in it. Why not today? I can't explain that. I just trust the wisdom of God and know that He sees everything we can't.

My aunt has now been placed in a private room where she will be taken care of until the stress test is given. She is relieved, to say the least. Please pray for her to heal quickly either way.