Wednesday, December 17, 2014

All is Well

December 2014

Peace. This is a concept that is not easily reached or managed. It seems like in today's day and age we are constantly wanting "more". Something bigger, something better. We are not content with what we have and who or how we are. In some cases it is not about things and more about ourselves or our conditions.

My paternal grandmother, "Grandma Pat", has been ill for quiet sometime and her overall health condition has taken a decline in recent years and especially months. My paternal grandfather, "Grandpa", died on November 15, 2005 and he and I were very close. He was my only living grandfather my entire life and I worshiped the ground he walked on. When he died, it was the first real experience I had with death and it was incredibly hard on me. It was also very hard on Grandma Pat, obviously, as she lost her husband of 53 years.

In the 9 years since his passing Grandma Pat and I have shared many memories of Grandpa together but the one that has stuck with me more than others is a saying he used to say "All is well". He would say this when asked "how are you" or "How is your day going". He always had a great outlook and attitude in life.

About a year ago when Grandma Pat was visiting my parents in Texas she was not doing so well with her health and my parents figured this might be the last time she would be able to come and visit her family in Texas. I remember we had a fun day filled with shopping and family fellowship and ended the evening with Texas BBQ at Spring Creek BBQ. Natalie sat in her lap and told her all about her school and her friends. Grandma Pat and I shared stories from her past and experiences I was going through at the time. That night as I said my "goodbyes" I came to terms with the fact that it might be the last time I see my grandmother of whom I loved so much. I remember the tears just flowing down my face as my parents pulled out of the parking lot. Natalie said "Mommy, are you ok?" and of course even more tears came rolling down my face as I was not ok. I remember we just sat in the parking lot of Spring Creek BBQ for nearly 20 minutes while I cried on Chris' shoulder.

Grandma Pat, Natalie and I- Christmas 2013, Conroe, TX

Natalie loved sitting on her lap and looking at her pearl necklace! 

We ALL loved the day of shopping!

This is a picture I will cherish FOREVER!

4 generations of Klingsick blood- Spring Creek BBQ, Christmas 2013

Christmas of 2013 came and Grandma Pat was still with us. She had made some improvements and her health was gaining. In fact 6 months passed and she was able to come to Texas again.

Grandma with Allison and her "other" granddaughter Amanda!

During this visit she was able to see my cousin, her oldest grandson on his graduation day from Air Force Boot-camp in San Antonio. On their way home from graduation, my parents and grandmother stopped by our house for Luke's 2nd birthday party. This was so special for all of us because since Grandma Pat lived so far away in Wichita, KS she was never available to come to either of the kids birthdays of birthday parties. It was so much fun to have her with us as we celebrated little Luke's life. Afterwards, I was able to sit and talk to my Grandma Pat about her life and experiences for about 3 hours while nearly everyone else napped. It was the best talk we have ever had. She relived events with her and Grandpa, told me stories about my dad and his brothers (my uncles) and so much more. She even compared Luke to all 4 boys, which was hilarious to say the least. I think Luke will be much like his Poppy, my dad, honery and into sports. While Grandma Pat was in good health during June 2014, as we said our goodbyes once again I came to terms with it could be the last time that I saw her.
Grandma Pat eating lunch with Nicholas, the Air Force graduate, and all the family!

This will forever be one of my favorite pictures! 

I love my Grandma Pat so much! 

Grandma Pat with Chris and I after Luke's Party!

My kiddos love Grandma Pat too!

Grandma Pat with my man!
I hate so much that Grandpa never got to see the love and beauty of Chris and our marriage!

In November of 2014 Grandma Pat took a turn for the worse and the doctors discovered that she had pneumonia in a lung that was removed (I know, this sounds crazy but somehow it is a real medical thing). She was admitted to the hospital in Wichita the 1st week of November and oddly enough, I was headed north to watch an OU Football game. I decided if I was only 3 hours away in stead of 9.5 then I would make the extra trip north to see her. It seemed like the honorable thing to do and I fully intended to honor my grandparent in this way. My mom was nice enough to meet me in Dallas to drive Natalie and I to Norman, OK to watch the OU football game and then even further north to Wichita to take both Natalie and I to see my Grandma Pat in the hospital. 

Grandma Pat did not know we were coming so when we arrived at 6pm with flowers which Natalie insisted on buying her she broke down in tears. We stayed the rest of that evening in the hospital with her and then came back the following morning before leaving and heading south for Houston. Despite it being in a hospital, I was able to see my grandmother yet ANOTHER time. And more importantly, Natalie was able to see her one more time.  Once again, we talked about her life and her past as well as Natalie school and what was going on in our lives right now. Natalie was even able to sing her a song called "Happy Birthday Jesus". I am so glad that we took the time and effort to go and see her. I walked out of the hospital yet again in tears knowing it would be the last time I saw her. She had reached the point of no return as far as traveling goes and with us living 9.5+ hours from her, I knew it would take a real miracle for me to see her again. I explained to Natalie, as best I could, the situation and had her tell Grandma Pat goodbye too. That was probably the hardest part. Well that and trying to explain everything once again to my 5 year old for the next 9 hours.

Grandma's surprise when we showed up at the hospital. 

Natalie and Grandma Pat!

Natalie giving Grandma Pat the flowers she chose! 

I love you Grandma!

I'm SO glad we made this trip to Kansas! I love and miss you Grandma! I know you will be back in Texas SOON!

One last picture before we leave and head south! 

Since then Grandma was release from the hospital and returned to her assisted living apartment, then transferred to a rehab facility. During Thanksgiving my parents and sister traveled to Wichita to visit both sides of the family for the holiday and it was during that time that my dad said that she had just "run out of gas". She was not able to go to Thanksgiving dinner with my family so she just stayed in the rehab facility and ate cookies (this seemed beyond sad to me and I so wanted to just be there with her). In fact, the last day in Wichita both my parents said she looked the worse they had ever seen her. My parents said their goodbyes and headed south to Texas not knowing what Grandma Pat's future would look like. I know my sister took it especially hard. 

On Sunday Morning, November 30th Grandma Pat was rushed to the hospital via ambulance and was admitted to the ICU for a UTI. It was then they found out that she had pneumonia in her other lung. It went from bad to worse and the doctor even prepared the family for "weeks not month" and "holiday funeral". I personally think he needs to work on his bedside manner but it is reality. On Monday, my dad took off for Wichita once again. During this week my Grandma has made some improvements as well as a few steps backwards, however she is looking better with each text I receive from my dad. 

Monday night it seemed as if she might only make a few days or even hours so once again I prepared myself. We were listening to Christmas music and "All is well" came on. The words are about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ but they ring true in Grandma Pat's situation as well. As Grandpa used to always say "All is well" the same is true right now. Grandma Pat's spirit is high and she knows that soon she will be able to see her husband again and live rejoicing. 

I have never been good with death and even more so on grief but I too am ready and "All is Well". I know where my Grandma is going and I know where I am going and now I know where Natalie is going. I think I have a peace about it all and I know God is in control. Our choir and orchestra are performing this song for our Christmas Concert in a few weeks and I know it will be hard to get through, especially since Natalie sings a solo on the same evening but I know these will be tears will be tears of peace. 

All is Well (Michael W. Smith)
All is well all is well

Angels and men rejoice

For tonight darkness fell

Into the dawn of love's light
Sing A-le
Sing Alleluia
All is well all is well
Let there be peace on earth
Christ is come go and tell
That He is in the manger
Sing A-le
Sing Alleluia

All is well all is well

Lift up your voices and sing

Born is now Emmanuel
Born is our Lord and Savior
Sing Alleluia
Sing Alleluia
All is well

I love you Grandma Pat and I thank God for you each and every day! I know Grandpa is looking down right now and saying "All is Well". 

God is good.. ALL THE TIME! 

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