Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Finding Grace in the Last Days

They couldn't be more different.

She, the eternal optimist.  He, the unfailing pragmatist.

And yet, they came from the same two people.

My mother and uncle are watching their father die.  After countless hours at his bedside...some of the most poignant being a midnight bedside prayer with cousins and parents holding hands...we realize that this is it...or is it?

My mother's cup has always been half full.  No matter the trial or tribulation, she truly believes in her heart that there is a way out and that we only need believe.  It's a powerful gift when you're feeling like your life is literally over after a boyfriend dumps you or a job just wasn't the right fit.  It's a little harder when you're looking at heart failure.

My uncle has always been a realist.  He does not bull shit.  He tells it like it is and respects those who are direct and to the point.  And sometimes, his anger gets the best of him.

Watching these two manage decisions regarding my grandfather has been a bit tenuous to say the least.  He confronts and she placates.

So, I've been praying for them.  I've been praying that God would use this time to help them find grace and peace in these final moments with their dad...that He would find ways to help them remember the beautiful parts of their childhood...that He would encourage them to see that they have more common ground then they realize...and ultimately to know that when all is said and done, they will be left with each other.  The legacy of our grandparents.

I don't envy them.  Making critical decisions like whether or not to sign a DNR are paralyzing.  They're doing the best they can given their own pain.  It's a powerful lesson that grace can find its way into our hearts if we just let it.

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