It was nearly 2 months ago that we posted last about how things were going in our world, specifically with the health of Lou Ann, Ansley’s mom. Read about it in Ansley’s last blog entry. We want to tell you more about our journey and the uncharted waters that we are navigating currently. We will do so via a few blog posts.
First, we cannot thank you enough for all the prayers, cards, flowers, meals and gift cards that a lot of you have helped provide for our family. Those things have helped us not only to feel loved, but it has taken pressure off of the day to day routine and allowed us to fully be present to mourn and celebrate.
While we are so saddened that Lou Ann is not with us here, we know that she is now healed and will forever be because of the hope she had in Jesus. It is this very hope that has allowed our family to be able to mourn with joy and to celebrate the life she lived here and the lives that she was able to touch/influence because of her sweet spirit and her servant heart. But it is still one of the hardest things that I’ve had to come to grips with. The timing. The process. The ups and downs. It just doesn’t seem real. Lou Ann is the first of one of our parents to pass away. But again, through the pain, there is such hope and joy knowing that she is at peace, and in fact, celebrating her life to the fullest right now.
That Thursday (Halloween), was special. The day before, I (Brandon) just finished a lunch appointment with a prospective ministry partner when I called Ans to tell her about it. She asked me immediately if I could come home to be with the kids so she could go to the hospital to be with her mom and Charlie. She had gotten a call that her mom didn’t have the physical strength to fight against the cancer anymore. Before we went to bed that night we decided that we would take the kids to be at the hospital as long as we had to the next day. So we packed snacks, puzzles, toys, an ipad and a portable dvd player. We didn’t know what that day was going to hold, but we wanted to be together. There was a great waiting area that the kids and I along with other family members were able to hang around in and not disturb anyone or be disturbed. We got downtown at 8:30 that morning. We really wanted MG and Mack to get to see Lou Ann once more. We didn’t know exactly how or when, but we knew, especially for MG, that some closure was going to be needed.
There just didn’t seem to be a good time to take them into her room throughout the day, so finally a few minutes before 7pm we decided we should take them back. It was perfect timing. MG was encouraging and sweet, complimenting Lou Ann on how she looked and asking her how she was resting. We asked if she wanted to sing her a song and MG said, “sure!” She started singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” (everyone in the room began crying), but in typical MG form, she made up everything past the first line. I don’t remember what she said….but it was perfect. I think we will always cherish those few minutes together, and we will surely have a great memory to share as time goes on. Myra Grace then kissed M’ma’s hand and told her “I hope you feel better. I hope you sleep good.”
Shortly after leaving the room Lou Ann took her last breath. As I look back, I’m so thankful to have been with our family during that time. I’ve been so encouraged watching Ansley walk through this. I’ve been blown away at how strong she has been. It’s not that she hasn’t cried or been sad or wondered what she will do without her mom being here…it’s just that in the midst of this, she’s held on dearly to the grace and comfort of our Lord Jesus. We know that there is a long journey ahead, but I’m reminded that we have a great God who is with us and will never forsake us. He loves us and he loves you. I am more hopeful than ever in our Savior Jesus, because without Him, I’m sure we’d be sinking.