It is with a sad heart that I write this post... Muddear left us yesterday to be with the Lord. While it sounds like a cliche even as I type, I know it is true - Muddear loved the Lord. I am thankful for the years I have had to care for Muddear. It was a shock to realize that I have cared for her for over 10 years. Five years in my home, a year and a half in the nursing home and almost five years while Muddear lived in her apartment after my grandfather died.
Caregiving has many ups and downs. There were times when the responsibility became overwhelming and then there were times when her laughter made it all worthwhile. There were times when I wanted to give up and then I would see the recognition in Muddear's eyes that she knew who I was and where she lived and there was a squeeze in my heart. There were even times when I wanted my life back with the ability to come and go as I pleased. And then I would remember how sick and depressed she had become at the nursing home and knew God had set me on this path for a reason.
For I know in my heart that being with Muddear, moving her into our home, prolonged her life by five years. As a grandparent she had given me many things. I was glad to have been able to give her those five years. That was the only thing she ever asked of me... "that if life would take a turn where she was unable to care for herself, could she live with me." I am glad that I was able to give Muddear that one thing. My life will have an empty spot that was once filled with caring for Muddear. I will miss her feisty personality, her stubbornness, and her joy.
I am thankful to God for His grace and mercy that gave us the strength to care for her. I am thankful for the family members (especially Sheena) and friends that assisted us in times of need. I am thankful for every nurse's assistant (especially Sharon), social worker (especially Bonnie), and nurse that made up our support system. I pray that God blesses you 30, 60, and 100 fold for your kindness and generosity toward us and Muddear.
And now we begin the next chapter in our lives. For five years, our lives have focused on two things: grandma and the kids. Grandma is no longer with us and the kids... well one is heading to college and the other has two years to go. My husband and I joked last night, that we could begin dating again. My heart fluttered!