Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Service

I started this post back in October,
but for whatever reason couldn't get myself to finish it until just now.
I feel that it is important that I still post it even though so much time has passed.

This post is about 2 different kinds of service that we experienced within the past few months.
Gram's funeral service
& also the service that has been provided to us by the community here in Northeast Indiana.
If you follow me on instagram you probably have already seen some of these pictures.

Gram's funeral was held on Friday, October 25th.
The viewing was the night before at this really cool old building in town.
It was 120 years old & had really neat architecture that she would have loved.

At the funeral,
we had an opening song,
"Nearer, My God, to Thee"
followed by an opening prayer.
My sisters gave talks on the Plan of Salvation
then sang "I Am a Child of God" with Little Dudeman & Little Princess.
Hubby read a memoir that one of Gram's friends that couldn't make it sent to him,
then he read an absolutely beautiful eulogy that he wrote.
After that, I was supposed to sing her favorite hymn,
"How Great Thou Art",
but I got tonsillitis & lost my voice a couple days before she passed away
most likely due to stress, fatigue, & such little sleep.
My singing voice hadn't fully recovered by the date of the funeral
(it took about a month to completely come back),
so we changed it from a solo to an intermediate song last second
that way everyone would get to sing it instead of me straining my voice
& sounding like a frog going through puberty.
The closing remarks were given by our bishop,
then we all sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again"
& had a closing prayer.

This entire time we were extremely blessed
to have such great support from our friends at church,
& also from some wonderful ladies from MOPS.

When Gram went into the hospital for the mystery abdominal pain,
we went as a family to visit her every single day.
But Thursday when she went into cardiac arrest & was moved over to the ICU,
the kids weren't able to go back to see her so I stayed home with them.
As things progressed, I realized that I needed to be at the hospital with Justin.
He had been there almost every second of every day since Thursday
& it was hard for him to see his mom like that.
He had so much to deal with & we both needed each other.
I called a few people from church Sunday morning
to see if I could drop the kids off that afternoon after church
(our ward at church meets from 10-1)
Nobody picked up because they were probably busy getting their kids ready.
So I called Heather, my wonderful friend/neighbor on Sunday morning
to see if there was any way that she could watch our kids.
She said that she had church obligations in the morning & other things going on that afternoon,
but that she would call around & figure something out.
A little while later she showed up at my door just to talk.
I was crying, stressed, & I must have stunk pretty bad
because she offered to stay a while to watch the kids so I could take a relaxing shower.
While I was in the shower, she played with the kids & cleaned up a bit.
She's the best.
We are extremely lucky to live next door to their sweet family.
She found someone from MOPS that was willing to come over & watch the kids for me,
but I also got a call back right after I got out of the shower from someone in the bishopric at church.
I had called to see if there was anyone that could swing by the hospital to give Justin a priesthood blessing.
He had found two brethren that were available to head there before church.
He was calling me to get the room number
& to see if I needed someone to watch the kids so I could be there with Justin.
He said they could stay there as late as we needed.
It's like he was reading my mind.
He was definitely being guided by the spirit.
He said if I could drop the kids off at the church building
they could go to nursery & then they could go home with a family in the ward.
Then they could give me a priesthood blessing while I was there.
I came downstairs to tell Heather the new plan & to tell her thank you.
While she helped me get the kids dressed for church,
she told me that she would talk to some people at MOPS to get meals set up on
When I mentioned that people from my church would probably want to bring meals too,
she gave me info to pass along about the site so that they could sign up if they wanted to.
That way everyone could see when meals were being brought & what meals they were bringing.
Such an awesome site!
I gave her a hug & left to drop the kids off at church.
My friend Randi was waiting by the door to help me in with the kids,
as well as two brethren that helped with the carseats
& then gave me a priesthood blessing so I could be on my way.
A couple sisters from church stopped by the hospital later that evening
to see Gram & to see how we were doing.
I spent the rest of the day at the hospital with Justin,
then picked up the kids late that night.
Monday morning I dropped them off with another friend from church,
who was willing to watch them all day as well.
That morning is when we found out Justin had to make the hardest decision of his life.
My stepmom flew into town later that night.
I stopped by the house to pick up a change of clothes for Justin before picking my mom up at the airport.
When I pulled into the driveway I noticed that our neighbors had mowed our lawn for us.
Have I mentioned that we have the best neighbors in the world?
While I was there, a member of the bishopric from church that lives near us
stopped by to check on us to see if there was anything we needed.
After talking for a few minutes & thanking him for the generosity of our ward,
I went to pick up my mom.
She was able to watch the kids Tuesday & Wednesday so I could be with Justin.
On Tuesday before I headed to the hospital,
a couple of sisters from church stopped by unannounced to bring us lunch & see how we were doing.
Our bishop came by the hospital on Tuesday night to visit Gram & see how we were holding up,
then assisted while Justin gave his mom a priesthood blessing.
After she passed away,
friends from church offered to watch the kids so we could go through some of her belongings.
Ladies from MOPS & church came by on Mon, Wed, & Fri for a few weeks to bring us dinner.
Our ward at church provided a small luncheon for family & close friends after the funeral services.
People from our ward that had never even met her attended her funeral.
Everyone's kindness and generosity warmed my heart
& brought extra comfort and peace in that time of need.
There are so many good people out there,
& I am still overwhelmed by all of the caring people in our community that I encounter each day.
I really want to be able to pay it forward someday.
My heart is full.
I feel so blessed.

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1 comment:

  1. I can see why it was so hard for you to write this closer to when it all happened. I hurt for you guys and what you've been through, and I'm touched at how much service and help you received. So glad to know so many people reached out at a time when it was so needed. Love you.



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