We'd made big plans for Thursday. My husband planned to spend the day with his dad at the hospice home while I finished up our holiday shopping. (Nothing like leaving things until the last minute, I know.) After the kids arrived home from school, we were going to hit the Christmas Eve eve service at Hosanna! and end our day with dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings (the last holiday gift stop). Great plans but a wrench was tossed in right from the get-go when our youngest woke with Pink Eye (requiring a day home from school AND a trip to the doctor). Long story short, the boys and I ended up doing dinner and the service on our own while Tony made the most of the time with his dad.
Our boys were feeling a bit down. (We'd received news earlier that week that Grandpa likely wouldn't make it to the new year.) So after the service, we decided to stop in the prayer chapel. Two lovely ladies listened to the boys' concerns before praying with us. While the details are private, we did pray that God would let us know that Grandpa would be safe with Him once he passed away. We prayed for signs.
Little did we know, we would be heading immediately to the hospice home afterwards (there was an urgent voice mail waiting for us, telling us to come ASAP). It felt like God was preparing us for all that followed over the course of the next 72 hours.
There have been so many heavenly gestures... one of which, I'd like to share here. Let me preface it with what I'd been telling the boys to bring encouragement. We'd talked about Grandpa's soul being eternal - that though his body was sick and broken, his soul would live on. They were saddened to think he could die on Christmas, so we also talked about the birth of Christ representing NEW LIFE. That while Grandpa would be done with his time here on earth, we would share in the promise of that NEW LIFE with him in heaven someday.
Then this came in the mail yesterday:
A reminder... reassurance. What made it particularly special, is that our family has a tradition of purchasing remembrance ornaments and I'd already been looking for something special to remember Grandpa by.
It couldn't have been more perfect.