November 6th, when this post would've originally debuted, was my grandmother's birthday. Ice, as we called her, went to be with Jesus in 2002, but not very many days go by that I don't think of her. I truly do not believe that people "come back in other people", but my goodness, both of my children both have so many qualities of hers- it's almost eery. To have never met or known each other, both Carter and Saralynn have so many of her tendencies. They both cross their feet- right over left- just like she did. My grandmother had an "I don't really care what people think about me" attitude that I sometimes really wish I had a little more of myself. One of the "Ice stories" we all like to recall is the day my mom, Matthew, and I were in the grocery store and turned down an aisle to see Ice standing there in her swimsuit, curlers in her hair- and that's it. No shoes, no cover-up, nothing. She was hot at home so she put on her suit (she didn't swim, by the way), she was curling her hair, and decided they needed something to eat, so she grabbed her keys and went on her way. That's just how she rolled. And I think often about how nice it would be to turn the corner in the grocery store again. To have her rock my children would be a highlight for me.
Ice went to hospice as she began to slip away from us and into eternity with Jesus, and the entire experience was absolutely wonderful! The staff loved on all of us and gave her such dignity as her life on earth ended. I can't say enough about them. Words would fail, so I really won't even try.
I have a co-worker whose family ushered her mother into eternity on the 6th, also through the hospice process. Because I haven't asked her permission to write about their journey, I won't say more than that, but I am grateful for the fact that hospice was available to them in their time of need, too. And I asked Ice to find my co-worker's mom and show her around her new digs. :) I'm sure she did.
If ever your family is faced with a situation where a hospice decision has to be made, please know how wonderful the experience truly is.