A Peaceful Passing

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.  -Proverbs 3:5-6

It is with a heavy, lonely, empty, yet peaceful heart that I inform you that my beautiful and precious Mother-in-Love has passed away. She took her last breath at 4:05 a.m., surrounded by her husband, Charles, son Chris, and myself. I was honored to hold her hand and tell her that I love her and I'll miss her as she left this life for the one she now has in Heaven.

I have been at peace with the understanding that her time here would be shorter than we'd like. I did not want to see her in pain anymore and understood that the cancer had ravaged her body to the point where she just could not survive here any longer. Either God would work a miracle or call her home to complete healing...and that's what He did. But I will say, I'm feeling that Mrs. Barbara (along with our Lord) had the final say on when she left...NOT the cancer. Her body continued to sustain far longer than the Hospice nurses and doctors expected, and she fought to the last breath. She survived just over 1 year from her surgery when doctors gave her months. She stayed at home with us for 12 days, when they only gave her 3-7. She exceeded all expectations. Her passing was peaceful, and though it has been difficult for us to watch her body struggle and change, it has also been a comfort to know her soul was strengthening for it's birth into Heaven.

Today is also her sister, Margaret's, earthly birthday. Margaret passed away many years ago from cancer as well. Today, Mrs. Barbara was birthed into Heaven and they share a birthday. I would bet Aunt Margaret was right there welcoming her home.

One of Mrs. Barbara's final requests was for those that knew and loved her to celebrate her life. She said, "I want people saying funny and realistic things about my life. I don't want a bunch of people crying over my body." For those reasons, her body will be cremated and her beautiful urn brought down to Baton Rouge for a Celebration of Life Memorial service. We, especially myself, have been extremely blessed to read and hear stories that you all have shared about your lives with Mrs. Barbara. What a blessing to see and feel the impact she had on our world! Please continue to share those!

We will share and post more details in the days to come. In addition, she was not the biggest fan of flowers, so if you are considering a gift for her memorial or family, please consider making a tax-deductible donation in her memory to one of the following organizations that were a tremendous support to Mrs. Barbara during her battle with cancer: American Cancer Society or Alive Hospice in Nashville. I will post additional details later on how to make these donations as well.

As I write this post, sitting in the spot where she lay the last 12 days and where she took her last breath just 8 hours ago, I feel an immense void. Oh how I rejoice at her transition from this life to the glorious next, but her journey has been a big part of mine the last year as well. What do I do now? I really don't know yet, but what I learned from her pilgrimage to healing...to her ultimate healing...is that God is all over this. He's had His arms around me too, and just as He led her down each road and path, He will also lead me...and I am willing to follow.

Heavenly Father, my heart hurts today. The void feels deep, and I ache for the loss of my husband's dear mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a cousin, a friend. For all those who are saddened by Mrs. Barbara's passing. At the same time we rejoice in her transition to your loving arms in Heaven. Lord, I pray the coming days will be filled with more wonderful stories as we remember Mrs. Barbara, and as lives will eventually go back to normal and the pain continues for some, I pray you will keep your comforting arms wrapped around us as we process the grief. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen!