Greetings from Arkansas! We have spent the past three days driving to Little Rock to see my father-in-law. We'll be going from here (on Friday morning) to Indiana to see my family for the rest of 2007 and the first of 2008. I was pretty worried about how the kids would do with three days in the car - watching DVDs definitely helped, but they did get pretty stir crazy by the end. Overall they did really well, though. We were able to drive 3-4 hours at a time with little trouble. Today we ended up having less driving than we thought, so we spent a couple hours in Memphis having lunch and visiting a great store called Eclectica - mostly scrapbooking, but they did have some stamps. I only ended up with one stamp, since most of what they had didn't interest me or I could get at home, but oh the paper they had... beautiful stuff. I tried not to go *too* crazy since I already have such a stash of non-Stampin' Up! paper but I couldn't resist some new stuff to play with - maybe even on our trip, if I brought other supplies that happen to match!
Yesterday started off in a very emotional way for me. On Friday I'd talked to my dad while we were on the road, and he told me that my grandmother is dying and not expected to live more than a few days. The great irony here is that we were driving right through their town yesterday morning. We hadn't planned on stopping since we figured everyone would be busy with church, but when I got this news, and realized that it'd be impossible to get to the funeral, I knew we had to stop. I don't think it was a coincidence that we found out about her condition just in time - I'm grateful to God that he got that message through to me. My grandpa was so grateful that we wanted to stop in. He loved seeing the children since he hadn't seen Ben in 3 years and had never met Sarah.
When we got there my grandpa took us to my grandma's room... it was so sad seeing her like she was. Her eyes were closed and she just hardly looked real. In my memories of her she was always running around making food for the family (they have 6 kids, 9 grandkids and 15 great-grandkids) and just taking care of all of us. She had a stroke a few years ago and really hasn't been the same since. But my grandpa showed me a picture from just a couple weeks ago, where he was looking at a photo album with her and talking about family stories. I couldn't believe how quickly she had been transformed.
She did seem to know I was there, and to know who I was - my grandpa leaned in close to tell her that I was there and asked if she remembered me, and she said yes. When I said hello to her myself, she said something back that sounded like "hi." Other than that, she didn't show any sign of awareness but I was glad that she did seem to know we were there on some level.
It was so hard to say good-bye... Todd and I both cried. And I think I hugged my grandpa four or five times. I am so glad I had the opportunity to see my grandma one last time, to hold her hand and wish her peace on her next journey. Thank you, Grandma, for being such a wonderful woman, mom, and grandmother. We love you.