Tuesday, February 14, 2017

changing flights for last days and a funeral

January 31, 2017 
4:32 pm

I'm somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. I have 4,040 miles to go until I land in Seattle.

It's my first trip home since moving to Hong Kong in August and it was planned last minute, kind of thrown together. 

My first trip home was supposed to be in March, I was going to surprise my family for my Neice and Nephew's birthdays. They're turning 1 and 3. But then my Grandma went into the hospital and they say she won't be coming out. 

I called Delta and paid a fee and got my flight changed; from a birthday party in March to a funeral in February. 

My Grandma Darlene and I are close friends. For the past five months, we've been penpals. She writes her letters on floral paper that reminds me of her pink lipstick, they're filled with who's been visiting her, who's been calling her, who's been taking her to the doctor appointments. They're filled with the connections her heart's been having with other hearts. So she'd write it down like diary entries on her floral paper, put it in an envelope with an international stamp, and mail it to her granddaughter in Asia. 

She ended each letter with how much she loved me and how much she missed me.

The letters became harder to read over the months. Then they stopped coming.

She's on her deathbed now, looking as pretty as ever. 

Celebrating a life's beginning is important. A life lived for 1 year and a life lived for 3 years; they deserve presents and balloons and a cake and fun games with Papa. But celebrating a life's end is important, too. 

Grandma wrote down the connections she had with other humans, the visits and meals and phone calls,  because those connections are what matter to her. So I'm flying across the ocean to connect with her in her last days. 

I'm not sure if she'll still be alive by the time I reach Illinois. But I hope so. I'd like to hold her hand again and tell her how much I love her letters and how pretty she looks and how excited I am for her to be in her Creator's Arms soon, in the place where everything is right. 


February 13, 2017
8 p.m.

Today I held my grandma's hand as she died. 

This morning I was on my way to the airport, going to fly back to Hong Kong, when my dad mentioned changing my flight so I could go to the funeral. I'd got to spend time with her, but it seemed that I'd be missing the funeral as the end hadn't come yet and I had a flight to catch. But today, my fly-back-to-Hong Kong-day, my aunt texted from the hospital, saying the end was very near. 

Was there any flight, any responsibility that mattered more than being with my grandma's last moments and funeral? No. Not that I could think of. I called my boss (and BFF) in Hong Kong, she said "change the flight and stay." So we drove to the airport, and $350 later, my flight was moved to Saturday and we were making the 3-hour drive to the hospital, mom and dad and me. 

She was still alive when we got there. Over the next few hours, I got to watch her move into Heaven. I got to hold her hand. I got to watch my mom kiss her on the cheek and whisper "I love you, mom."

It's exactly how grandma would've dreamed it. All four of her kids right next to her. God's kindness was on display. 

Her strong and rapid beating heart finished its task and angels carried her past gates made out of pearl, into a place where angels sing and love has won, and right up to the Man Himself. I imagine He hugged her big then kissed her, and she probably called Him "Honey."

I'm thrilled for her and waiting for my turn. 

Until then, I'm going to keep getting closer to the God who is good.  I'm going to spend a few more days on the farm, go to a funeral and celebrate grandma's life, then fly back to Hong Kong and let Jesus keep directing my days. What a trustworthy Lover He is. 

February 14, 2017
1:46 p.m.

Hanging out on my favorite farm, my heart's packed with thankfulness. God died so He could have a bride. I love that Grandma's with Him, I love that I'm on this farm, I love that He's writing my life, I love how our hearts are connected. 

Happy Valentine's Day.