I had a really unexpected experience last week that I want to share. My friend Joanne and I have been friends since third grade. Growing up when I experienced hardships in my own life, I knew I had a place to go in her. Her family always welcomed me with open arms. As with a lot of friendships, you graduate high school and go your own way. We, however, always seemed to pick up right where we left off when we would see each other.
I had recently found out that Joanne's Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and last week, as many of you read from my Facebook post, he was was transported by ambulance to Mayo and then subsequently moved to McGraw Hospice. He has not responded since being moved to hospice, but is resting very peacefully with his family by his side. Please keep them in your prayers.
I woke up Thursday morning with a heavy heart and was really being prompted to go visit my friend and her family. I had so many emotions as I drove back down that road to McGraw Hospice. I did not know what to expect or how I would respond when I got there. I just knew I had to go. From the moment I arrived my heart was pounding. I signed in and did not even ask what room he was in. I just proceeded to walk towards a hall that was familiar to me. Immediately, I saw my friend, we hugged, we cried, and I knew that very moment why I was there. She looked at me and said "I am not sure you will be able to go in and see Dad." I thought maybe he was having a bad day and visitors were limited. Then she said he is in room 504, the same room Nick was in. You know there is no mistake there! God's plan!
Joanne repeatedly asked me if I was OK to do this, and I assured her I was. I was there, I wanted to see her Dad and her family. I took the step into the room, and the first thing I felt was the peace. I expressed how I knew that room had been prayed in and prayed over many, many times. I looked around and I saw a family walking in similar shoes that we had walked in only four short months ago. I watched as her Mom held her Dad's hand and I remembered how I did that very thing. The people may change, but the actions and the emotions do not.
I know God prompted me to go there and comfort my friend, but also I feel like He was giving me a reassurance of His peace. Although I left there hurting for my friend and her family, I felt a sense of closure. As a family we endured a lot of pain in that room, but we were also blessed to have experienced God's love and grace in a way I cannot explain. I was reminded of all of that as I stood in room 504.
So many of you are so gracious in continuing to check on us and wanting to know how we are doing. Honestly, we are good!! Praise the Lord for that. I mean, I am not going to say that I don't still spend a day or two on the couch occasionally crying and thinking about my man. But we are "learning to live," and that is just the way Nick would want it.
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:3
Love and Blessings,