Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Aunt Joyce

At 3:30 this afternoon, My aunt Joyce went home to be with our Lord and Savior. I was there, at the hospital, in her room, holding her hand, when her soul left her earthly shell. At her side was her husband of 46 years, Norm, My mom (her sister), Aunt Susie (another sister), her son Bobby, and her granddaughter Theresa. This is not the first passing I have been witness to. It was the most beautiful. Norm held her face in his hands, and as we prayed and told her it was okay to go home to Jesus, he looked her in her vacant eyes and said " as much as I love you, sweet pea, Jesus loves you more, run to him". and she did.

Joyce was one of the most loving, accepting, and gracious people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She knew what it meant to love people where they are at, as Christ loves us. She was non-judgemental and forgiving. She served our Lord for as long as I can remember and the number of people that visited her during the short period of time that she was ill was a testament to that.

Norm and Joyce have raised 6 beautiful and loving children, Bobby, twins Maureen and Michelle, Jenny and twins Christine and David, as well as 2 grandchildren, Lauren and Zachary. They also have 12 more grandchildren, Tim, Tiffany, Theresa, Tina, Ramon, Brittney, Courtney, Tyler, Emily, Bradley, Megan, and Austin. They have 3 great grandchildren, Brandon, Orion and Addyson. One grandson, Ethan, went home to be with our Lord shortly after his birth. The love and closeness this family shares is also a testament to this couples love for each other and for our Heavenly Father.

Aunt Joyce was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday February 10, 2009 with a diagnosis of a possible slight stroke and they were treating her for pneumonia. On the following day an MRI was performed and a tumor was found encroaching on her spinal cord. It was diagnosed as cancer that same day and a radiation treatment was performed immediately. On Friday afternoon we were told that she likely had days to live and to have the family come. On Sunday, all of her children, grandchildren and living siblings were present at her bedside to say their goodbyes. (lots of nieces, nephews, inlaws and outlaws as well) On the following Wednesday she was changed to palliative care, all meds(with the exception of the ones for pain management) were discontinued, and only the family was allowed in her room. All in all, it was a total of 14 days from the date she was admitted to the hospital until the day she passed. Even though she was in agonizing physical pain, she did not complain or fuss. She did not cause drama or make any scenes. She ministered to us. She worried about us. She wanted to make sure WE were right with the Lord and raising our families to love Him as much as she did. That was her way. She was an amazing woman and she is my role model. Rest in Peace Aunt Jojo. Even though you will be gone from this world, you will never be far from our thoughts and never forgotten.