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I have experienced a few moments of feeling downtrodden by all that has been happening lately and each time God has sent a special messenger of encouragement. Last week, a young woman from Romania called me out of the blue. She said God had put me on her heart to pray for and just wanted to call to let me know that. My blessings come from all over the world. A drink of living water to refresh my parched soul. Yesterday was frustrating when some family members weren't cooperating and trying to put forth their private agenda. I wanted to think in a fatalistic manner, but God would not have that. I found a message from the pastor of our church on my phone. It had been on vibrate and I had not heard it when he called. As a result, I have the recording of his words to repeat when my heart feels faint. But today was the best of all! In the morning, I was feeling sad. For 2 days I have watched mom sleep, with very little time in consciousness. Even at that, she seemed confused and disconnected, besides a couple of brief bright spots that were so very short lived. I was asking God to bring her home to Himself very soon. Then I thought a little more and confessed that I understood He had a plan for every moment of her life. My niece, Jenna, whom I rarely see, came to visit my mom. When she asked how I was, the emotion was too much to hold back. Tears began to fall and I expressed my desperation at watching my mother's body waste away in such a short time. Very soon after her arrival, I got a call from my father-in-law saying that he was coming to visit as well. Oh my goodness, God was revealing His plan within moments of my questioning. Jenna and Poppy had not seen each other for quite some time, because of the estrangement between him and her mother. Jenna was warm and entreating towards him despite the emotional distance between them over the years. I didn't realize the significance of her texting until 10 minutes later. During all of this, the nurse came in to check mom's vital signs. I gave her a moist sponge to dampen her lips, when she began sucking it for all she was worth, like a baby bird. Previously, she had only tolerated the sponge going over her tightened lips. Then the doctor came in and saw how she was responding to the wet sponge and gave us instructions about how to help her make progress in her hydration. You never saw someone so elated as I was while getting her a cup of ice water. We still had to feed her only drops at a time while sitting up as straight as possible to avoid choking her. Eventually we were able to give her ice chips. Praise the Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hallelujah!!!!!!!Seeing her tongue all dried and cracked from not taking in any water for 2 days had been excruciating. She also spoke for the 1st time with any coherence. She said "water"! My heart was breaking from not being able to understand the garbled whispers that emitted from her. I had to rely on my sense of her from years of caring for her and hope that I was close to what she really wanted. It was also hard for her to comprehend what our lips were saying to her. Smiles, the "I Love You" sign and carresses had been our only means of communication for these past few days. Signs of life were springing up all over the place. She responded to simple questions and said "I Love You" a number of times. The nurse was very gentle to teach us that often people rally just before they die and to warn us against thinking that her condition was in the process of reversing itself. Not knowing how long this phase would be, I soaked in every moment. I didn't care if it was for 1 hour, 1 day or 1 week, this was a precious gift of an oasis in the desert of our situation. Mom had not moved any part of her body voluntarily for some days, but now she lifted her arms to signal that I was to exercise her arms. This is what she was taught by a physical therapist and it had been very important for her to regain her strength. During my elation, I frantically called to Jenna to use my phone to call every member of our family I could think of to give them the good news. I was crying great big fat tears of joy. Lunch was delivered and I had Jenna take 1 arm and Poppy the other to keep exercising her while I ate. The next thing I knew, the result of the texting walked through the door, Jenna's mother. During our time together, I played laundry woman at times in order to wash away the tension in the atmosphere. God only knows what will come from their coming together at this time with a fresh perspective of the briefness and value of life. There are times whe we need to let bygones be bygones and allow past hurts take their place in history and forge into the future with hope. In the face of impending death, the value of life reigns supreme and there is little comfort in upholding principles that keep us from exercising forgiveness. It took me many years to realize that the bitterness and anger I had for my father as a result of the years of abuse he had perpetrated against me had only hurt me. 1 moment that I focused my attention in a negative manner towards him was 1 moment I robbed from myself that grew into many many moments. I eventually realized just how precious life is and that I could not afford to spend any of my moments allowing myself to wrap myself in the comfort of licking old wounds. Poppy will be having a surgical procedure to unclog his carotid arteries next month. This is a common procedure, but as with all surgeries there are risks, so now is a wonderful time to make all slates clean. God only knows what will happen in the hearts of these people, but I pray that for their own good, principles are laid aside and the focus becomes the preciousness of life. There is a big difference between guarding your heart and hardening it. What we don't realize that happens when we try to protect ourselves from being hurt is that we block potential joy. No matter what attrocities happened to me as a child, I refused to allow them to rob me of the joy of life. When I had thought about taking my own life in order to stop the pain, I had a stronger drive inside of me. I knew that one day all of what I had endured would be worthwhile and then God gave me my husband, Ray. Ray was my gift that made going through every hard time worth every beating and all the verbal abuse. The he added to our lives 5 wonderful children. We also have 4 in Heaven that were never born, but Mom will be with them until I come home to Heaven one day myself. Here I was asking God to take mom home soon, but He had a plan to use her impending death to bring these precious souls together in the same room. Now it will be up to them what happens from here. When the nurse's aide came into to give her a bed bath, mom said "You have a pretty top." I couldn't really believe what I was seeing and hearing. Most of us are able to accept what was happening as a wonderful, but temporary gift. However, our more mature visitors looked at the circumstances as a sign of a miracle reversal. It wasn't worth the effort to try to help them grasp reality. It will all become apparent far soon enough. The fact of the matter is that we all must leave this earth one day or another. Trying to postpone the inevitable is more frustrating than coming to grips with acceptance and is far healthier than wishful thinking. What person would not want gold, diamonds and such earthly treasures if given the opportunity. But at the end of your life, the most simple drops of water have the absolute greatest value in the universe. They are truly LIFE! Be thankful, Kim