Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Busier Than Ever Advent...

It happened Sunday night. I made my dinner, spinach omlets and toast, cleaned up all the dishes and the cookie cutters from making gingerbread cookies for my dear LH. I get a saddening phone call from an old acquaintance which lasts a bit.Then, I spent two hours in the basement finishing wrapping Christmas presents and packing them properly and addressing them. I came upstairs and finished addressing the few remaining Christmas cards. LH came home from his caroling outing. I made mailing labels for the packages. Finally, sat down to watch the news at 11 pm. After the weather report, I was going to make my way upstairs when the phone rings. This time for me, rather than LH. A parishioner is dying, the family requested my presence. I am so ready for bed after a very full day. I drag myself upstairs and change into a suit instead of my nightgown and 8 minutes later I am out the door at 11:34 pm. I reach the hospital 25 minutes later and found the family and the parishioner (well over 90)would not make it through the night. The two sons did not want to be alone in their vigil. Mom was a tough, strong lady. The night would go on, and on and on. I had the appropriate prayers and scripture reading,we talked. We grew quiet. The sons' eyelids would droop. I visited this parishioner often and she had grown so thin and frail. I wondered whether she would see the end of this year.
It was I who noticed the rhythm of her breathing changed and stopped. The nurse was called in, we had prayer and it was time for the doctor. The one son took off after hearing his mom had passed, just has a hard time dealing with emotional issues. I stayed with the other son while he waited for the death certificate.
I got into the van and drove home in the wee hours of the morning. Traffic was very light!!! I got home at 3:30 and got in bed at 3:45 am! Needless to say, I slept for 6 1/2 hours and didn't get up until 10:30 am.
I hope there won't be too many more of these. There wasn't much I could outside of the prayers and just basically, being there.
The funeral will last most of the day on Thursday. At 9 am the funeral home brings in the casket, which will be open for viewing 1 hour prior to the service. The service will be at 11 am. followed by a luncheon in the fellowship hall. The committal follows the luncheon at 2:30 pm. Thankfully, the committal is short and I can leave from the cemetary from that town.
And this was the day, my house was to be cleaned. Had to cancel because of church schedule problems 2 weeks ago and now again. The house will be dirty for Christmas. We still have a tree to put, string lights on and decorate. I still have the 4th Sunday of Advent sermon, Christmas Eve service to pull together, and the Sunday after Christmas to put together.
You know Edgar Muench's "The Scream", it's really me, in this Advent moment!
I know that God will bring me through. I trust it will be so.


LutheranChik said...

While my typical Advent day is in no way like this...I am also feeling like the figure in "The Scream" because of my own schedule. In my case it's partly a self-imposed schedule because I have a hard time saying "no" when it would be easy and understandable to do so, and partly a function of living my way into an extended family whose massive and frenetic holiday celebration is something I just can't keep up with emotionally or financially. Today I almost had a panic attack during lunchtime errand running...there's a part of my head screaming "No mas!"

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