Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"You Were Our Focus, Mary Helen"

Mary Helen was our focus intently for one year. Her needs and emergencies came first, and through knowing her in this way we all grew closer to her and to each other during the past many months.

When she first came to make her home with us, she was almost 80 years old.

That was over 10 years ago, and even then we realized that we were taking on a big responsibility that could take us into unknown territory for a long time. Thanks be to God we had His assurance of His help and presence.

What a vital Christian she was! How her expressions of love and affection increased through the end-of-life months! How she continued to share, laugh, inspire, and befriend, and everyone who entered our home came to know and love her.

Jim and I remain amazed at the grace of God to our whole family through her life and love. We are amazed at how much we had to rely on the strength of God, not our own. We are amazed at the faithfulness of God.

What a great privilege each one of us had in different times and ways, through this mission we believe God gave us. And now her caring needs are over, for she is well with the Lord. We remain, full of memories and deeper understanding--yet also not knowing what lies ahead. We thank God for whatever He will make of this, to His glory! The late and sleepless nights she had, the adjustments to changing medications to help relieve her pain and difficulties, the caring by strangers who became part of our daily life, in and out--the medical professionals and the volunteers, such as her reader, Ruth. We remember the shopping her granddaughters did for her, the Maryland Blind Services books on tape, her milkshakes and prunes with coffee (!) toward the last, and special hair cuts and manicures given by granddaughters, the love of grand-son-in-law, and all great grandchildren...the stories shared, the love unspared. We remember now too the kind medicine delivery people from a local pharmacy, the doctors and staffs. So many people we came to know through her needs and her determined value for life.

From Jim and me, and our entire family, whatever load you now carry, be not afraid. God's grace and help are available to all who call upon Him. For us, we believe that one day all good will be revealed.

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