I spent most of Saturday night with Mamabel. Sitting beside her, holding her hand. I got in the bed with her for a few hours but was afraid she may roll over in the night and I'd find myself tangled up in her oxygen tube. Tim and I sang to her. "Swing Low Sweet Chariot." This will be the title post when she passes, btw, so you'll know if you see it. I don't know if that's a favorite of hers but I'm sure that every child who ever crossed her path heard it. It was her default lullaby. Only thing was, she never said chariot. She always sang "cheerio." It's slightly harder to imagine her being swept up by a glorious, uh, cheerio but hey, if God lets her go out that way, so be it.
I can't tell you the number of times I watched her breathe and thought "was that the last one? Nope. Was that the last one? Nope. Was that the..." You can imagine how old this had gotten by Tuesday.
We had several great conversations with her. She's ready to see Jesus, my Pawpaw, Patricia Jane (the daughter she lost as a baby) and lots of other loved ones. We've been joking all week about getting her to give us an estimated time of departure so that we can all plan accordingly. Truthfully, I think she's just as surprised to still be here as the rest of us.
Leaving on Wednesday was very hard. It is horrible to say good-bye knowing that it could be the last time we see her here. Those last squeezes are priceless. I just hope that if she insists on waiting for somebody next time -she'll pick my sister instead of me.
I did think of you all while we traveled home. So, here are a couple of photos and commentary that I thought you'd enjoy.
My thoughts on the way to Atlanta were "Come on, Cracker Barrel, seriously! Carrots?! Is that really supposed to draw me off the interstate at the next exit? Of all the things they make and serve at Cracker Barrel...carrots? BUT then on the way home, after a week of eating absolute junk (thanks Granddad) those carrots were looking pretty tasty. You know your body is starved of nutritional value when this billboard speaks to you.
Okay, it looks like a simple white line but try capturing that image almost perfectly centered while doing 75 down the interstate. The girl's got talent -boredom and talent.
Just for you, Lisa Slater. Just for you.