Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Making Work at Home Work

Yesterday was one of those days full of amazing highs and lows and in which God showed his face at every turn. My RA flare-up still hasn't gotten better, so yesterday I asked Jesse to call his mom and see if she could pick up Mia from the bus stop. My mom usually does this for me, but my Grandma Bunn, her mother-in-law, had taken a sudden downturn in her health and Mom was going to the nursing home. When Mom picks her up, Mia is usually home by 4:03, so when she wasn't home right away, I got a little nervous. I texted Jesse asking him if his mom would have taken Mia home with her. He said probably, but that wasn't good enough for me, so I asked him to call and make sure.

While I waited to hear from him, Mom called back nearly in tears. Hospice had been called in for Grandma, and the doctor said he didn't expect her to last the night. I asked her if she wanted me to come in, but then Jesse beeped in on call waiting. He said that his mom had lost track of time and forgot to pick up Mia, so the poor kid was on her way to the bus garage. I immediately burst into tears. Normally I could handle one of those phone calls, but both back to back were like a sucker punch. His mom was on her way to the garage to pick her up and would keep her at her house. Mom called back asking if I could come into town and pick up my brother Jake from the nursing home; the sorrow and emotion was getting to the 13-year old. A plan clicked into place, and I started making calls. I threw on some clothes and headed for the nursing home to see Grandma and be there for Mom. Jesse stopped by on his way home from work to bring me supper and pick up Jake, drop him off and then get Mia.

At the nursing home, we took turns sitting on the edge of Grandma's bed and holding her hand. She slipped in and out of consciousness and we called the rest of the grandchildren and family. In a crisis, I need to be doing something, so I was on the phone a lot and trying to keep up my game face for Mom; if I lose it, there's no way she can keep it together. Workers from Unity Hospice came to talk to us about what would be happening in the next few days, and those women were awesome. They were comforting and knew when to listen and when to talk. They set it up so Grandma could get pain medicine for her pain; the priority is to keep her comfortable until the Lord calls her home. Grandma had conversations with some family and nurses in the last few days; she is ready and waiting for Heaven.

At some point it was decided that Grandma shouldn't be left alone overnight, so I volunteered. I ran home, put on my glasses and yoga pants, packed lots of Coke and books. Everyone else was gone shortly after ten. The RN on duty came in to check on Grandma and asked how I fit in the family. When I said that I was Carol's daughter, she exclaimed with joy and threw her arms around me. I swear I've never seen this woman before, but she was so full of love, I couldn't help but hug her back. Then she explained that she knew just who I was because (hold on, wait for God's hand to show itself) she worked at the Gillett nursing home when my Grandma Trever was there 18 years ago, in fact she was working the shift when Grandma Trever died. Annie, as she introduced herself, said that Nellie (Gma Trever) was one of her favorites, just like Dorothy (Gma Bunn). We talked and ended up talking about God. She told me about her struggle with breast cancer and how her faith and the Lord brought her through. I could feel the Spirit in the room with us, and even now I get goosebumps thinking about it. That was the first of many blessings last night.

Grandma faded in and out of consciousness. Whenever her eyes opened and seemed to focus, I would call her name and ask her if she wanted water or was in pain. Unfortunately Annie wasn't on duty overnight and was replaced with a woman who acted as though I was putting her out by asking her to take care of Grandma. At one point she walked in and said she was turning out the light because it was disturbing Grandma. Now the light was on the other side of the room, behind a curtain. I could barely read by it, but that's what was keeping me awake and there for Grandma. I explained I was reading and I needed the light, and she replied oh so snottily "Well, if I think it's bothering her, I'm turning it off anyway." The nurse never came in the room unless I rang for her. If I hadn't been there, Grandma would have laid alone in the dark all night long in pain. The CNAs were wonderful repositioning her, but the RN made me so angry I was shaking when I got home.

But I get ahead of myself. I prayed throughout the night, asking God for wisdom on what to do and say. When I asked Grandma if she wanted some water, she said "I don't need anything, I'm just waiting. " I said, "What are you waiting for" even though I knew. When she didn't answer, I said, "Are you waiting for the Lord to take you home?" She said firmly, "Yes I am!" I prayed out loud for her, and she called out Jesus' name. I read the Bible to her, including the 23rd Psalm, and she said, "Yes, Jesus is my shepherd, but he isn't here yet." I sang to her too, and all night long I held her hand. Last night was such an amazing gift to me. I was able to spend time with Grandma letting her know it was ok to go, even though she knew it was. I felt God with us, even if He didn't answer our prayers to take her home.

I left at 6:30am when my vision was starting to get fuzzy and came home to sleep until noon. I picked the girls up from school at 1 (early release day) and brought them to the nursing home. Molly has a special love for Grandma; they are so very close. So she's staying there to hold her hand for a few hours. I was so proud of Mia. Most 6 year olds would be frightened to see their grandmother so unresponsive, but Mia gave her a hug and a kiss and told Grandma how much she loved her. Mia and I talked about it ahead of time, and I told her she should say good-bye. On the way out, we talked about what was going to happen in the coming days. She said that it's time for God to take her to Heaven and give her a new body and some healing. This child's faith blows me away.

Jeff, my stepdad, talked to hospice about the nurse's treatment and Grandma and I last night. Hopefully tonight things will be different. Either Jeff or I will be taking the night shift again. I don't think it will be the same as last night. Today Grandma has a very high fever they can't bring down, and although her eyes are open, she's not responding anymore to anything. Her eyes are waiting to see her Savior, and nothing else matters anymore.

I always loved in the Mitford series by Jan Karon how Father Timothy said that he "coveted" prayers, and I can't help empathize today. I covet your prayers for my grandma, Dorothy Bunn. Please pray for her peace and for the Lord to not delay any further, but take his daughter home. And while we all pray for her to be released from this broken earthly body, we will be lost without her, so I covet your prayers for my family as well.

Making Work at Home Work
by Mary M. Byers is a perfect book for any mom who has an at-home business or is considering starting one. The book is split into two sections: saving your sanity and preserving your profit. The first section focuses on how to manage things like child care, balancing family and work, and making time for yourself as well. Byers tells the reader to ask herself certain questions: what exactly does success mean to you? how much money do you want to be making? and why are you working? Answering these questions honestly is essential to figuring out how to have a healthy balance between family and work. Throughout the book are twelve profiles of work-at-home moms with their tips for success and what they have learned along the way. The second section really goes into the ways to expand your business and how to make smart decisions to increase profit. Also included in the back are several recipes for moms who don't have time to make supper every night but want their family to eat well. Byers makes the subject matter interesting and relevant making this vital for both beginners and pros.

I'm giving away a copy of this book on Friday, and all you have to do to enter is send me an email by 10 pm tomorrow night. Good luck!


Christy G said...

Oh, Christy...this entry was beautiful. Your Grandma is in my prayers, and so are all of you.

Scott Rudolph said...

Thank you for taking care of my Aunt Dorothy, I wish I could have been there too.