Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A shoebox full of letters

Tonight I came upon a shoebox full of forgotten letters and cards, most of them from my mother. What a blessing to stumble across these letters! When I first moved to Puerto Rico, I didn't have a computer so our correspondence came through the mail.

I spent an hour pouring over my mother's words. Her voice jumping out at me. Tears of joy from laughing, remember the good times. Tears of pain knowing she'll soon be gone. In many ways she's already gone, no more letters, no more cards.

Soon I'll have to post some of her words...

Tomorrow the kids and I leave for Florida. We're headed for Tampa for now. I'm hoping to soon head up to Jacksonville. I'm trying to do what's best for my mom, and having two young children running around might not be best for her confusion. I want desperately to be nearby so I bought one way tickets and will at least be only a car ride away from her. I will be there until the end waiting... It's been hard being away and only seeing her through her blog. I long to lay beside her on the bed and hold her hand.

Claudia broke her arm last Thursday. I thank God it wasn't worse. She's going to mend and be just fine! Although I cried all the way home from the ER, realizing I should be calling my mom and telling her all about it. I thought to myself, "well I guess this is how it's going to be from now on, good or bad I'll never be able to share things again with my mother." You know, sometimes a person just wants their momma!

I'm not sure how often I'll be blogging, my sister doesn't have internet so it will be at least a few weeks...

God bless you all out there. Don't forget to tell your loved ones how much you love and appreciate them, don't wait! In a blink it could all be gone.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"What kind of God..."

"Allows brain cancer to happen to a person who has lived all their life serving, loving and living for God?"

"What kind of God allows such tragic things to happen?"

These were questions recently posed to me...

With great confidence my answer was...

"An omnificent God who sees the bigger picture. An all knowing God who knows exactly what each and every one of us needs in this journey called life."

God has a plan for my mom, He knows exactly what she needs. The same is true for all of us.

Deuteronomy 30:19 says... "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live..."

The fact is we have a choice set before us. There is abundant life in Christ and unique blessing in the Word of God.

I choose life. I choose to turn to God and obey Him, follow Him.

Maybe there is someone out there facing a hard time, questioning how God can allow such bad, painful things to happen. I believe God knows exactly what you need and will provide for you. It might not be easy but choose life with me, choose the blessing.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The sweetest voice ever!

Last night I talked to my mom!

She's been so weak, not eating or drinking and barely able to whisper but she had a little rally yesterday.

My dad put the phone to her ear and in a clear voice she said, "Hey Jennifer!" I wish you could hear how she sounded. So gentle and sweet! I thought I would never hear her voice again, I can't tell you how good it felt to hear her.

I did most of the talking as she's so weak that she can't form her words clearly. She gets tired quickly. At one point she wanted to pray for me, like she always has but she just couldn't. So I took over and prayed for us. I called upon our sweet Savior, Jesus for peace and comfort.

I felt His presence with us both. Even though I couldn't touch her, I felt such peace and comfort from Jesus that it was as if I was giving her a hug.

A little bit later I was talking to my dad and mom whispered out, "I feel splendid."

We are living out the truth that even though hard times come, Jesus comes in such a surprising sweet way. His peace so real that at times I feel wrapped in His arms.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I'll see you soon

I've said before I'm not going to tell my mom goodbye.

With mom, I don't believe in goodbyes.

I don't understand why she has to leave this earth so early, I think we all thought she'd make it into her 90's. Not unusual for our family. However in the big scheme of it all I believe we are a breath away right behind behind her.

I left on Thursday and before leaving I wanted to let her know I was heading back home to Puerto Rico, to my son and husband.

I arrived at Hospice very early and sat by her bed watching the clock tick down the hours and minutes, knowing soon we'd be separated.

An hour before I left it was just the two of us in the room. She was sleeping peaceful and I sat by her bed, holding her hand and looking at her. It was a sweet moment, I prayed over her and committed her to Jesus. I told Him I gave her over to His care and trusted Him completely with this precious treasure whom I'm blessed to call my mother.

Before I left I held her close and told her I was leaving. She was alert and looked deep into my eyes and understood what I said. Her first concern was Lorenzo, my two year old. "Poor Lorenzo, he's been away from us for so long." She said.

We hugged and she held me tight and kissed me over and over saying "I love you." I pulled back, looked into her beautiful green eyes and told her I'd see her soon.

As I turned away she whispered "Be at peace." I turned back saying "mom, I'm at peace and you be at peace too. Everything was going to be ok."

I walked away looking back over my shoulder and our eyes locked.

Something that has happened only one other time after her surgery occurred. It's hard to describe but it's as if our souls were communicating without words, we were connected. Our hearts speaking to each other. In my heart I felt her comforting me and I heard "this isn't goodbye, we will see each other soon."

It was a mother and daughter knowing the time had come to be separated, not wanting to say goodbye. In that moment it was as if we both knew we'd always be connected, death can't sever us and soon we will meet again.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I'm leaving tomorrow with Claudia to return back home. My two year needs me and it's time to return to him and my husband.

My mom is doing better... if that's the word to use. She's eating, responsive and Hospice is sending her home tomorrow.

It breaks my heart to leave her. I can hardly bare it. I want to be with her when she arrives home. I want to help with her daily care.

As the day wore on it really started pressing on me that I would be leaving her tomorrow.

I sat close to her bed and held her hand, just staring at her as she rested. Then I climbed up into bed next to her and held her hand. Tears started slipping down my face as I caressed her soft hand.

I couldn't stop the tears from falling as I thought about my sweet mother, the woman who gave me life would soon be making the transition to eternal life.

I was on her left side and she turned and looked me in the face and when she saw me crying, her sweet face instantly became full of concern and she started crying. She can't bare the thought of those she loves in pain.

Instantly I felt terrible for making her cry, I don't know if I'll ever forgive myself for upsetting her. I've hardly shed a tear the whole time I've been here. What good are tears? A million tears won't change a thing... Right now she needs to see and know her family is going to be ok.

I quickly dried my tears and tried to cheer her up. Thankfully the sad moment for her passed...

When I could I slipped away by myself outside. Hospice has beautiful grounds. I wandered through a garden to a far away bench by a small body of water and I cried and cried. I sobbed until I got it all out, mad at myself that I lost control and she saw my tears.

After a while I washed my face and put eye drops in and went back to her... I held her hand again, trying to breathe in her sweetness.

Immediatly, she asked if I was ok and with a calm steady voice I told her what I believe with all my heart: "Everything is going to be ok! God told me that from the beginning! Even though we don't understand, we know that He is with us and won't ever leave us!"

I really do believe that. I don't understand how everything is going to be ok, but I hear Him loud and clear saying that.

The Wednesday night my mom called told me the news of her brain tumor, that night while in bed I felt the Lord whisper into my heart that my mom was going to die but it was going to be ok! I even told my atheist husband that. I told him I don't understand it but God is telling me, it's going to be ok.

Right now I'm angry, I'm hurting but I'm going to believe His word and I'm going to trust Him!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Seeing the inside of Hospice

Claudia and I arrived to Jacksonville, Florida Friday afternoon to visit with my mother who has terminal brain cancer.

We drove straight to Community Hospice Center where my mother has been since Thursday night. It's a beautiful place, the outside looks more like a large, fancy home than a place where people...

Well, you know...face death.

The inside looks like a nice hotel. I'm glad my mother is a beautiful place with the best of care. I've never seen doctors and nurses so caring and loving. Her doctor is a Christian!

My mother has taken quick downward turns.

We will know more tomorrow morning.

Today she slept 22 hours, more or less.

She is completely at peace, happy and briefly opens her eyes to say "I love you's" to those around her. Last night her last words before falling asleep for the night where "What a good day. God has been so good to me, I'm so blessed."

I got to spend the night with her Friday and Saturday night. I helped take care of her with the little I could. I put makeup on her and applied chapstick when her lips got dry. It's amazing how these little things have meant the world to me.

The only way I'm able to face this is with Jesus holding my hand. I feel His presence and peace. The thing I feel most from Him right now is His amazing strength.

Thursday night after I last blogged I was crying and feeling so sad and all the sudden I felt the REAL presence of Jesus...I felt Him crying with me and I felt the presence of guardian angels.

It was the most amazing feeling to be utterly alone in the lowest point I've ever felt and suddenly find that I wasn't alone... Jesus was with me and He was crying and grieving with me! From that moment on I've felt strength around me and I've done things and dealt with things in a manner I never thought I could.

Jesus continues to awe and amaze me. You know, I never expected He would cry and greive with me... I kind of thought He was above that, you know? I mean He is God after all.

But I shouldn't be so surprised, that IS what I love so much about Him. He knows me better than I know myself. He's my best friend and He's real.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What your prayers feel like...

I've been told over and over how I'm being prayed for... I'm sure it's a few hundred praying for me specifically.

Do you know what your prayers feel like? Like a wave of sweet, quiet peace.

My dad called tonight not too long ago and said they'd taken my mom to urgent care hospice. They are trying to get her nausea and vomiting under control.

As soon as heard his voice on the phone, I knew he was about to say something of importance and I braced myself to hear something bad. I dread the moment I hear she's had a seizure or has gone into a coma...

I know you are praying for me because I can feel a peace surround and quiet me. To be honest I'm not too happy with God right now, but regardless of my feelings I'm going to trust Him and His Word.

One of the hardest things about all this are the kids... Alexander, Nicholas, Claudia and Lorenzo. Those are their names and Nanna means the world to these kids...

My poor sister is struggling with when and what to tell Alex and Nic. It makes my heart break into more pieces thinking about how this will affect especially those two boys.

But I'll tell you, the Lord spoke into my heart and said they are going to make it! Nanna might be leaving this world but Jesus isn't and He's going to stick by us and those kids and see them through.

There are no words to explain or describe the peace that only God can give. When things don't make sense...He gives peace...When times get too tough...He gives peace

I really don't understand why this is happening, but in the end it doesn't matter...I'm determined to follow His love even when it's so dark right now that I can't see but a foot in front of me... I can't yet see the big picture.

I leave tomorrow morning with Claudia for the states. I pray for God's mercy and my biggest hope for this trip is that Claudia gets to sing with her Nanna one last time.

Tonight Claudia prayed this with me: Dear Jesus, Please touch Nanna. Please be with Nanna and help her feel better. Take away her tummy sickness in Jesus name. Amen.

Now I ask, how can He deny the faith of a child?