Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Taking life minute by minute

Do you ever flip back through your journal to days gone by? Maybe to recall what happened on a certain day or perhaps to reminisce?

I did that recently and came upon this blog post I originally wrote on March 24, 2009 (in purple below), after Mom had been diagnosed with gallbladder cancer. She was in the hospital and going through a very rough time. We all were.

But as I read back through this, I was reminded of God's grace and mercy. Of the time he gave us together before he welcomed Mom Home. I'm so grateful for those days, those hours, those minutes. They're tucked away inside me, yet return at the oddest times. A memory of something said. Or a look Mom gave me. Or a hug. Or the last time I kissed her forehead.

All so precious. All reminders of the truth that nothing comes into my life that doesn't first filter through the loving hands of my heavenly Father.

And all reminders to keep taking life minute by minute.

March 24, 2009

I'm incredibly grateful for the prayers that have been lifted up for my mom this past week (pictured to the right with my dad). Her healing since last Thursday's surgery has been very slow, and not without its setbacks.

I hadn't been home from the hospital long last night when the phone rang. I picked up and heard my dad say, "Tam...I think Mom's dying."

You can imagine what emotions hit me in that moment. Disbelief. Fear. Denial. Anger. Helplessness. And you can guess what questions came to mind. Can I get back to the hospital in time to say goodbye? Will I see her again this side of Heaven? Have I said everything there is to say?

I had trouble understanding what Dad was saying on the phone so I asked him to pass the phone to a nurse. She got on and said that they had indeed called a code on my mom because her vitals were dropping. It wasn't cardiac arrest though. It was due to respiratory problems, along with some other issues.

Long story short, they told us they thought she'd had a stroke. So around midnight last night they did a CAT scan on her head and chest, and we waited. The chest scan was clear but the brain scan was inconclusive. It wasn't until later this morning that we learned the brain scan was negative for a stroke, which was great news! They're not completely certain what happened yet. We're thinking perhaps a combination of medicines and other factors, but may never know for sure. 

I'm sitting outside of ICU right now, dad's in with mom, and minutes ago we had our first real conversation with her since before her surgery last Thursday. What a blessing that was, and how precious those moments.

As dad and I sat together as mom "drifted," I told him that I realized last night (when he called me) that there was nothing left unsaid between me and mom. Nothing that needed "fixing." In that sense, we're ready to step into eternity in regard to each other. Dad and I talked about that and about how the same is true for our relationship. We live life with everything "said" between us. That's such a blessing. [Though my husband might disagree since he has to live with me constantly making sure "everything's said." :) ]

Mom has a long road of recovery ahead and it's not going to be easy. But we're hopeful for a complete healing and for many more years here together. We're still awaiting the pathology report on the tumor, of course. That's due to come back in the next couple of days, and we're finding strength in knowing God's already waiting for us there in that moment as surely as He's with us in this one.

Back to ICU, and to hug Mom! 


P.S. Thanks for the private congrats on From a Distance being a 2010 Christy Award finalist. My daughter is taking full credit due to her hair being used on the cover. ROFLOL! 

As much as I appreciate that nomination though, what means far more to me is having heard from readers who've read From a Distance and who've said they've taken a step closer to Christ because of it. 

Now that's something I'll carry with me into eternity. Thanks, friends.

And may I thank you again, today, February 11, 2014, dear friends, for still reading and for taking these journeys with me. I'm so grateful our together forever started here.

Are you good at taking life minute by minute? Not borrowing trouble from tomorrow? Mom taught me how to better do that before she stepped into eternity, but I still have my days... : )



  1. Tammy, your post made me tear up...reading it reminded me of the journey we walked when Erik's mom was dying. At the end, she was not coherent in speech or mind. Erik had decided to stay in Texas for those last days, but I had to fly home and go back to work. As I was getting ready to leave, I got down in front of her and said "I love you, Mom." God gave me a huge blessing when she responded "I love you."

    Through God's grace, I am doing better living moment by moment, not borrowing trouble. He confronted me with a hard truth about a year ago, and through confession and prayer, He is helping me walk through without worrying about tomorrow. I don't always succeed, but progress is being made :-) God is good.

  2. Tammy....I am tearing up as well. I just lost my grandfather, as you know, a few weeks ago and I still have moments when the tears flow. Just yesterday I found some Christmas cards for the kids and one said, "Love, Nanny and Papa"...and I couldn't help it...the tears came. Knowing that I won't see that on any Christmas cards again. I wanted to write my Papa a letter before he passed, but didn't get to...just telling him how much I loved him, but I don't feel like anything was left unsaid. I could barely keep it together at Christmas because I knew the time was near. Anyway, I guess I'm just a very sentimental/emotional person...and it's hard for me not to think about the past as I feel that time is flying by. But I love how Ann Voskamp talks about how to slow down time by basically slowing down...enjoying each day and each moment as a gift. So that's what I'm trying to do more. Instead of telling the kids...hurry, hurry, let's do this faster all the time...I'm trying to just appreciate the moment.

    One thing that I have noticed about you, Tammy, is that you seem so Heaven-minded. I love that. It encourages me not to fear the future and the deaths that I know will come down the road, but look to Heaven, to spending eternity with those we love and with my Savior. Thanks for sharing part of yourself with us!
    Love and blessings to you~Stacey

  3. Tammy I remember that post and was one of the many praying for your precious mom and the family during that time. For about a 5 year period many precious people went home to be with the Lord that were very close to me and I am no longer the same person. The Lord has proved Himself over and over how faithful He is and is teaching me how to cherish every moment of this life that He has blessed me with. Thanks for writing such beautiful, inspiring books. I have read them all and own many. May the Lord continue to lead you and guide you through life's journey and may every experience inspire you to write about it so that we too can be encouraged. We are so surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses and in that number I believe are our loved ones that have gone on before us, cheering us on. Hugs to you my friend. Bruno sends a "high paw" to Jack :-)

  4. Oh, Tammy. The knot in my throat after reading that post still hasn't subsided. I feel as though through you, we all get a taste of how incredible a woman your sweet Mom must've been. Thank goodness for our Home in heaven that's waiting. Taking life minute by minute is a challenge, and one I'm working on. Learning to appreciate each day as it comes, giving no worry to the future isn't always easy. In His strength, not our own.

    I was just going through some old entries of my own today and also recently read through an old journal. It renews the hope we have in the Lord by seeing His hand so evidently in our lives. Thank you for sharing this today, and thankful for God's blessings in your life. Praying for you :)

  5. Your journey through your mom's death seems like yesterday, and seems like forever ago. As I ponder the possibility of losing my own aging parents, I love knowing that those little memories are tucked away and come back to you at just the right times. Thank you for sharing this. Your mom was precious! I'm so grateful I got to meet her before she went home to Heaven.


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