Did I mention that it was 7:30pm at this point? And we were in a small town? And that in this small town everything was closed? No chance of getting a tire that night, and we thought it would be unwise to travel 4 hours on an old donut in the rain.
So, we paid a ridiculous amount of money for a hotel room (though it was nice!) and decided to make the most of it! Right across the street was a Starbucks! (See, God IS good!) So our family had a little date...we all got Starbucks and scones, at the request of my children. Side Note: Yes, I have *those* kids who actually know and request scones. End Note. Then we went back to our hotel room and via Netflix on our laptop had a marathon of "Avatar, the Last Airbender" for awhile. (Our family's newest and strangest addiction)
The next morning, while we watched Phineas and Ferb in our room, Daniel went to get our tire replaced and came back with 3 new ones, because they would not have made it to Bay City and back. BUT, we were able to afford all 3 tires and a hotel room (all unexpectedly!) because God is good and He has shown us how to save/spend our money wisely! So what started out as Daniel and I freaking out and being mad/depressed about how much all this was going to cost, how inconvenient this was, the timing, etc....It turned out to be such a good time for our family together! What could have been a horrible night, turned out to be relaxing and refreshing for our whole family.
So, the next day we eventually make it to Bay City and spend the weekend with Daniel's family. His grandparents are not doing well and neither is his uncle. Uncle Robin was/is in a lot of pain, and he was either hurting or sleeping while we were there. I am a nerd, as you all know, so I actually read up on grief and how to say good-bye to a loved one, etc. And I'm not saying there's any formula or anything, but I just had NO idea what to say to him. Or just out-loud. I know a lot of people didn't know that *that* time was the last time they'd see their loved one, but I knew I was "blessed" (?) to have this chance. I'm STILL praying for God to miraculously heal my uncle, but I am fully aware that His way of healing him may be death...and if that is the case...I wanted to say good-bye, of sorts. I didn't really say good-bye though...I made strange jokes about hospital food, not getting enough sleep, talked about Chaz and Hannah, and picked on Daniel to lighten the mood...We visited 3 times over the weekend. And my last words were nothing special or significant. I told him I loved him and that I wanted him to get some good rest and feel better very soon. Nothing profound, but all true, in all senses of the words. I kissed him and squeezed his hand and left the room.
I went to sit with the family in the other room, while Daniel spent more time with him. And it was so very good to sit and talk with them. Mostly we remembered things and shared stories...about people I love, and a lot of them were about Daniel growing up. This was very special to me because Daniel doesn't remember much (in comparison to me) about when he was little. He didn't have his mother to repeat stories to him of things he said or did. I heard soooo many stories about Daniel that weekend, all reminding me of the special man I married and the amazing family I inherited as well. It could have been a bitter time...talks of "Why, God?" and how unfair things were...But instead, it was a sadly beautiful time talking about life and death and love. The things that make life worth living...the things that remind you why you're still breathing.
Hospice came to Uncle Robin's house today. To make him more comfortable for "the rest of his time here." Yes, part of me is angry. I ache and hurt, for myself and for our family...my aunt, cousins and grandparents. But I am also grateful, as God showed me over and over last weekend the many things and ways to be grateful. I am grateful for flat tires and hotel rooms. For scones and The Last Avatar. For life, for love and for families. I am one very blessed girl.