The room was small and we went out from time to time to give other family members a minute…but Aimee, mother and I were claiming our place by her side. I was up and down, having trouble sitting still from the back problem I had encountered in November. I would try and walk –never leaving the room for long—fearing what might happen if I did. I was dealing with my emotions as best I could. Aimee, the loving nurse-sister was able to understand more of what was actually going on than the rest of us.
Of course, Mark rarely left her side. Not even for food. When they told us they would do all they could to keep her comfortable, he never left her again. No naps, no food. We brought food into him, he ate some, picked mostly.
I take that back on the no naps. On Sunday night, in a brief 20 minute nap, the man snored so loud while we were keeping watch, that I figured the nurses could hear him. It became quite comical to Aimee and me. Little Wanda never knew. As her body processes began to slow, she had been less “with us” and more “somewhere else” over the past few hours. The minutes ticked by slowly, just watching the monitor and it’s glaring digits.
After her doctor informed us that she was not having any kidney output, and that tests had shown her kidney function had all but ceased, she knew what was next. She was an incredibly loving doctor and had talked to Mark about “releasing” Wanda, and that we each needed to do the same. We in turn, began to go to her and love on her and tell her that it was okay that she left us. It really wasn’t okay with us. But in the deepest part of my heart, I knew that she would be whole again with Him.
So, with tears and severe heartache like we had never before experienced we each did as the doctor instructed. We had been singing to Wanda, songs of praise, like “As Long As I Have Breath…I will praise You Lord”…and other such worship songs. The Presence of the Holy God could be felt. After I spoke to her again, I slipped out of the room to go to the bathroom. I regret my bladder keeping me from hearing her voice for the last time.
On Monday morning, Wanda spoke her last words. Talking had become so difficult—requiring far too much breath and effort. Even today, her words ring in my heart. As she looked up at Mark very solemnly she said, “I don’t understand….(long pause)….we trusted God….(long pause for breath)….but….I still….trust Him“. The last five words were said with a resolute firmness of one who has walked through the fire and seen the reward up ahead.
And trust Him she did. With every single ounce of flesh and blood she possessed. A short while later, she lapsed into a semi-coma like state. We continued to sing over her…we talked about who would be in her “greeting party” upon entering those Gates. Even in our tired delirium, we laughed quite a bit about silly memories, and funny family stories. My sister Aimee kept us in stitches as she shared funny antics of her teenage son.
And then we’d cry.
A whirlwind of emotions. Aimee, mother and I had only been to bed for an hour on Monday afternoon. That evening after much prayer and talking and singing, we felt that it could be another couple of days. Her heart beat was very strong, although she never gained consciousness again.
I told mother, I think Wanda was floating somewhere between her body on the bed and her heavenly destination and she was getting a big kick out of all the singing, stories and laughter. When we looked into her eyes, which could not completely close, we couldn’t see Wanda anymore. I think that even then, she was preparing to leave us soon.
I clung to a sweet memory from when we entered the room that Sunday morning. Aimee was searching for something behind Wanda in the cabinet. I was sitting directly in front of her. She rarely spoke. She had no energy. I searched her face for signs that she completely understood what we said. She did. I asked her a question and got no answer. Just a puzzled look. I asked her again. She looked at me and smiled and said, “I’m thinking.” With a brilliant, sister-shared smile, my eyes filled. I knew that spectacular smile would soon be witnessed by our loved ones who were waiting for her There.
A quick note to my sweet readers. I’m almost done. Just a few more posts. I know some of you were with me last year when all of this happened. I wasn’t able to share this last year. I was too raw. It was too hard. It hurt too bad. Today, the pain is different. I KNOW I will see her again. Perhaps very soon. “No man knoweth the day or the hour the Son of Man cometh”…I intend to be ready. If I can encourage anyone to make sure they have their hearts in tune with God—that you give EVERY thing in your life to Christ—holding nothing back—I ask you to simply examine your life. Talk to the Savior. He’s always ready to listen.
Thank you all for your patience and your comments. I have not had a chance to respond to everyone….but I will. You have all blessed me with your ear and shoulder more than you realize. I love you dear sisters!