Many Thanks In Our Time of Sadness

I’d like to spread some thank yous. As many of you know, the reason why I’ve gone a little silent on my blog lately is because we’ve had a death in the family. Some of you sent donations to help us travel and afford to be away for two weeks. Thank you for your blessings. My heart is full and overflowing with gratitude. The only thing I can give in return is a story and, if I see you in person, a hug.

My husband, Kevin, had a feeling back in April that it was going to be the last time he saw his mother alive. She was in a wheel chair and could barely form words, but she smiled at the presence of her grandchildren and gave sassy looks to her husband (evidence of her personality.) Kevin spoke to his Pa on the phone every day or so and knew that things were not improving. Kevin asked an Angel of Peace be sent to his father’s side as he endured night after night in the hospital or alone in his empty house.

Kevin’s mom had been in an out of the hospital for months and by mid July she had been unresponsive for several weeks. So we packed clothes for all seven of us and as many homeschool books we could fit in a crate and drove 13-ish hours to Upstate New York.

Vera Ann Trim had been an opinionated woman and never wanted to be kept alive on life support. So her husband was faced with that reality as all of the family descended up their childhood home. He agreed to start taking her off medications and life sustaining machines gradually over several days.

We arrived on a Sunday and went straight to her bedside. She looked so peaceful, like she had just dozed off. But we were told that she hasn’t spoken or looked at her husband or squeezed his hand in two weeks. He knew she was leaving and it was time to let her go. My husband kissed his mother for the last time and told her he would take care of Pa. The Angel of Peace sat on the couch where Pa slept each night and patted him on the shoulder as the sorrow came in waves.

By Tuesday morning, her body was done. Pa came home from the hospital and it seemed like the whole family was breathing again. Breathing a sigh of relief that she was no longer in pain. No longer lost in her own body and mind. She went home to her Creator.

The Angel of Peace stayed at Pa’s side as he headed to the local diner in the mornings, went to make funeral arrangements and received words of encouragement and sympathy from the many, many friends in his small town. My children adore their grandpa and marveled at the amount of food that was dropped off at his doorstep to feed all of his grandchildren (15 altogether) and the many adults (totaling around 23 to 26 people on any given day.) I don’t know any of the people who dropped off food, but I am so grateful for their thoughtfulness. I’ve never seen anything like it. All week long they brought full meals, snacks, fruits, paper plates, even toilet paper!

Everywhere we went with Pa, he would run into someone he knew. At Walmart, at the gas station, McDonalds, everywhere. My ten year old son asked if Grandpa was famous. And of course, we said "Yes!" He is a friendly, caring man and knows many people in his small town and the neighboring towns. He has been a volunteer fireman for many years, serves on the board of his church, and talks to anyone willing to spare a few minutes. 

This was our first try at homeschooling away from home. It was difficult to keep their attention with the cousins around, but we did the bare minimums. We homeschooled in our free time in between family time. Grandpa even volunteered to substitute teach math to our 1st grader and 3rd grader. Grandpa and the girls all thought that was fun.

As we left Pa’s house at the end of our stay, there were three angels walking with him. I only knew two of their names. I assume the unnamed one was his lifetime guardian, the second was that trusty Angel of Peace who was not done with its work, and the third was a new one: An Angel of Delight. I didn’t know there was such a thing. After so many years of pain and suffering through his wife’s illness, peace and delight is in his future.

Thank you, to all the people who have blessed the entire Trim family (and our little Trim family from Georgia) with food and generous gifts. Seeing the miracle of giving through this time of immense loss has blessed us and our children more than you can imagine. I love that they were able to witness God's Family taking care of each other.

Love to you all,