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Incourage.me: Arms Up

It’s fun to have an article post this morning on incourage.me.  I knew the publishing date weeks ago, it still snuck up on me today and feels like such a gift as we are remembering this time last year. Well now the tears are coming just typing this intro as I am missing this woman. Our mom and our friend and our phone call on the hard days and on the good. Here is a little snippet, then please click on the link to continue reading….20151030-Dozier-Isolation

It’s been one year since that beautiful October morning. My house looked like the aftermath of a wild tailgate party. There was an enormous RV in my driveway with the awning drawn out, tables and chairs and empty cups scattered around. A barbeque pit stood in my front yard while my porch held coolers and a huge white banner.

It was my 38th birthday, but more notably than that, it was the first morning I had woken up after losing my mom. This hadn’t been a party. This had been hospice care.

The hospital cot in my bedroom that held all 90 pounds of my sweet, fragile mother and was now empty. The cancer had been too aggressive, her body too tired, too weak to sustain more treatments, and she was sent home to be surrounded by family.

We were there beside her as she had taken her last breath. In tears, I fumbled around determined to quickly unhook her from the tubes administering medicines to keep her comfortable. After all, she wasn’t in pain anymore………..

Please click here to continue to read, comment, and share…..Thanks so much.

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Huddled Over Grace

I sat on the floor of the shower holding a bottle of white, liquid soap. My head was tilted up as streams of warm water rained down my face washing away fresh tears. The cries were fewer and farther between, but they still came at times. Grief would come in waves they told me, and it has.

Three months earlier, we had lost our mom to cancer and, that day, I was headed back to her house to face the cabinets, drawers, and closets, not just of her things, but of her memory and of my memories with her. I didn’t want to go but, more truthfully than that, I didn’t want her to be gone anymore.soap1 I looked down at the nearly empty bottle of soap in my hand. It had been part of a present from our mom to my sister, Amy, and I. A simple, soap and lotion, gift set in the midst of the complicated twists and turns of cancer life. A little gift labeled and branded Pure Grace.Hug

I remember standing there the day she gave it to us hugging in my kitchen, the three of us arms intertwined, heads touching, staring at our shoes…huddling over that simple gift of soap, lotion, and grace. Unspoken words rumbled through our minds as we asked someone to take a picture, not because this was the first time we had ever huddled that way, but because current circumstances and possibilities gnawed within us.  We wanted to capture how we loved each other.

Not long after that day, we were back in my home again. This time a hospital bed was set up in my bedroom for our mom, and my house had become a revolving door of nurses and friends and family from all over stopping by each day to bring food, or flowers, or letters, or candles, or paper goods, or drinks, or to pick up laundry, or kids, or just to stay and visit….or to say goodbye. This was hospice care. This was the unwanted end we had been fighting against, however, a beautiful, loving end if there had to be one.

Amy and I spent most the time on either side of our mom, our arms sometimes intertwined, our heads sometimes touching hers, huddling over the gift of grace in our mother and clinging to the gift of grace in our God. The grace that gave us the courage to whisper in her ear, “It’s ok to go home.”

And so I sat on the floor of the shower gripping that bottle of white liquid soap, that now nearly empty bottle of Pure Grace, and it registered, gratefully, that true grace is never empty.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

And here I was sad, and weak, and in need of much grace…but not the kind that comes in a bottle because, at the end of the day, we all know that’s just soap. But true grace. The kind that helps you face loss with hope, the kind that helps you choose forgiveness, thankfulness, and joy. The kind of grace that gets you up off the floor of the shower and is never almost empty because it never runs out.

Gracekey
The day I sent Amy this post to preview, she sent me a picture of the Giving Key she happened to be wearing that day….Sometimes our lives work like that….

His grace, thankfully, never runs out and with such grace, an end is transformed to a beginning.

Choose grace,

Cristi

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