Thursday, March 20, 2008

Life in Death

Whew....have we had a rough week.

Last Thursday, March 13, 2008, my grandmother Edna Johns went to be with the Lord. She had been in Baylor ICU for the past month after she suffered a severe allergic reaction to a blood thinner given to her after surgery. Instead of thinning her blood, the reaction caused her blood to start forming small clots throughout her entire body. Needless to say, the result was devastating and she fought hard for her life the past six weeks. The beauty of such a sad situation is that all six of my grandmother's children (my dad is the second) were able to spend wonderful time with her and time with each other and were all gathered as she quietly, peacefully, and "just like a baby drifting off to sleep" went on to Heaven.

Jonathan left for a dental conference in San Antonio, TX, the morning my grandmother passed away, so we were scrounging to make flight arrangements to get to Greenville, TX, in time for the funeral. He was scheduled to return home from his trip on Saturday evening, so we booked flights for 5:50 am Sunday morning. Well, to make a very long story short, Jonathan didn't get home until 1:30 am Sunday morning, and we left our house at 4:30 am to get to the airport on time.

We got to Texas with little trouble and had a wonderful visit with my family while there. The funeral was beautiful. My dad and aunts and uncles made a beautiful tribute to my grandmother's life. I cried at the funeral, and although I am very sad that she is no longer here on earth, the tears I cried came from hearing such beautiful stories of her life. I kept wondering, "Why didn't I know about this earlier?" For example, this one blew me away.

My grandfather and grandmother took in their niece and nephew, Sheila and James Ray, when they were teenagers because their father was out of the picture and their mother couldn't care for them any more. James Ray shared a story about my grandparents at the funeral, and he described himself at that time as a "juvenile deliquent." James Ray eventually gave his life to the Lord and completely turned his life around very much as a result of the love of my grandparents and the guidance, kindness, and direction they gave him. Years later, my dad, Roger, was visiting his parents' home in Greenville, TX, when James Ray came to visit. While there, my grandfather called my dad into the den because "James Ray is gonna sing a song. Sit down and listen." My dad, not a Christian at the time, didn't get why James Ray would sing because, as he described it, James Ray was a "big ole boy" and not exactly the type to "sing." Without hesitation, James Ray sang the song "When He Was on the Cross, I Was on His Mind" right there in the living room. At the funeral, my dad got up and recounted that event and said he walked away changed because of the message of the song. It wasn't too much longer that my dad was saved. I couldn't help but contemplate the connection. I was brought to the church by my parents who were saved when I was a yound girl. I gave my heart to the Lord at the age of seven and have been trying to walk in a manner worthy ever since.

Grandma. Grandpa. James Ray. Dad. Me. WOW! Get this. Just minutes before, the funeral was opened by my cousin, Chris, singing the song "When He Was on the Cross, I Was on His Mind." No one knew that the story above would be told.

I'll continue our travel drama in another post. Yes. We were stranded in Dallas with a 7 month old!

1 comment:

Jancd said...

Here it is the middle of April and I kinda stumbled upon your blog--this is such a moving story. You just never know when God is going to reach out and touch you--like he did your dad after hearing that song. Beautiful story. Jancd