Eyes on the Prize

My daughter-in-law is a lovely young woman. She was a cheerleader in high school and my son had a huge crush on her. She married her high school sweetheart but soon realized he wasn’t the prince she thought he was. He did the “church” thing but not because it was in his heart. She found out he was cheating on her and their marriage went down hill from there. Against her beliefs and preference, the marriage was not salvageable.

She is also her grandparents caregiver most of the week. She shares her duties with her mother and holds a job to boot. I’m not making her out to be a superhero, but that kind of sacrifice and devotion is more than worthy of mention.

She calls me on nights when my son is working and she has a moment of thought. If she vents to her mom or sister, they turn it back around on her instead of hearing her out and being an empathetic ear. She needs to cry. She needs to let it out and let it go. She needs to be heard. It isn’t a call to action. It is a call of compassion. The same compassion she pours out as a caregiver.

Lately they have had several scares. A few months ago he fell outside while messing around in his shed. His wife came looking for him a few hours later. It was late at night by then. He had missed supper. He was on the ground, not hurt but still unable to get up. His wife tried to get him up but couldn’t. She did manage to drag him, on the rug he landed on, as far as the step to their back door. She didn’t want to call anyone because it was so late and she knew everyone was sleeping. She brought him a pillow and blankets from the house and made him comfortable, then went inside to bed. Needless to say, her grandmother got a serious chewing out, in love mind you, but sternly.

Every summer, for 50+ years, her grandparents take their RV to the beach. During a wonderful three week vacation, different family members will take turns taking their families to spend a few days with them. They just returned from their last vacation to the beach. They know it is their last one. They spent the last few days cleaning it out to get ready for the For Sale sign. The end of any tradition is difficult but especially considering the reasons they are not able to do this anymore.

He has also been having chest, neck and arm pain in varying degrees. When he had pain a few days ago, he didn’t want anyone’s help. My daughter-in-law was trying to help him but he told her to get the Tums instead. He proceeded to tell her his version of  the “end”. He made it clear to her that he wants to die at home, not in a hospital or nursing home. She promised him she would help make that happen.

She is a strong woman, wife and mother who puts her trust in the only living God. He strengthens her and gives her peace. I pray for God’s blessings on her and her family as they travel this long and difficult road together. We know the journey will end at the beginning of paradise.

Father, losing someone is never easy, even when we know they will spend eternity with You. We don’t get to spend time with them anymore and long for a reunion. Please bless us with Your comfort and peace as we face these heartbreaking times in our lives. Help us remember to trust You through the pain and keep our eyes on the prize…Eternal life with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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