And it is a good morning. We have our health and our loved ones. But I have to be honest it’s been a rough week.
On July 26th, as we were going to bed, my husband and I received a phone call that his stepfather’s mother, Sidelle, had passed away. Her funeral was going to be held on the 29th and we have to book a flight down to Florida as soon as possible. We knew it was coming since her kidney was failing and she had denied further treatment.
About a month ago we took a weekend trip to see her. We knew this would be the last time we saw her so we planned the trip entirely around her. We had an early lunch and then spent some time with her in her home before leaving so she could rest. At that point she had already lost a ton of weight, was weaker than and using a wheelchair with assistance from a day nurse. It was heartbreaking to see her this way but she was still all smiles. She was making jokes and being social at the diner. The nurse called her Ms. America!
I met Sidelle back in 2014 under horrible circumstances. Matt’s mother, Roberta, had just passed away from cancer and Sidelle and I met at her funeral. Sidelle had refused to come to the hospital because she didn’t want to see Roberta in that way. Sidelle came to the funeral with a crew of older woman from her card games and sat next to me. She held my hand and passed me tissues. Whispering that Matt did a great job on his speech and even instructed me to go console him at one point where I was unsure if it would be appropriate. From that first day she has always said nothing but positive things about me and Matt and our relationship.
I called her Lady Luck. One of the things we do in Florida, when hanging out with the older crowd, is going to the casino. I’ve never seen someone so lucky in a casino in my life! Given I don’t have much to go off of and she wasn’t always a winner. But I’m telling you she always hit at least once. It was so fun to see. So I used to joke with her that she needed to rub some of her luck on my machine so I could win too. That last afternoon we saw her she gave us each $10 from her wallet for good luck. And I told her the money won’t work unless I rubbed her hands. So I got all up in her face and she rubbed my arms and hands and gave me a hug and kiss. i won $60 on penny slots that day. Which is a lot for penny slots. The day before her funeral Jeff, Matt’ step-dad, gave us all $10 from her wallet. The last of the money she had on her. I kissed the cash and played my penny slots. I’m not gonna lie I’ve never had a day at the casino like this! On one machine I kept getting free games, which means the machine keeps rolling without you having to bet your own money. I went up to 164 free games! It was insane i was literally just sitting there laughing to myself. I won $140 dollars! My last gift of luck from Sidelle.
Going to the funeral was hard for me. All the family drama aside, we were still saying goodbye to someone we love and admire. There’s a lot of pain in that. Jeff had been keeping his spirits up throughout the whole process but he let a tear slip at breakfast the day before and that killed me. Sidelle had picked out a pink pearl coffin, it was beautiful! And she asked that no one came in black. All in all it was a beautiful service. We laid her to rest at the same cemetery as Roberta and I lost it again.
There is this overwhelming feeling of guilt I had leaving them there. Like they were alone and cold in this stuffy box and here I am getting to walk away and live my life. It really does suck to bury the people we love. I still pray to Roberta every day, even more after I had my miscarriage. Now I find myself sending thoughts to Sidelle. But the pain of losing them is hard on me.
So when this bible verse popped up I thought “wow! I needed this!” I am holding onto the pain of losing these people who I loved and mourn for and not focusing on the important part. They are with God and they are not in pain anymore. As selfish as it that I wish I had a mother-in-law to call for advice or to visit on holidays. As selfish as it is that I cannot imagine going to the casino when we visit Florida with my lady luck. I have to focus on the beauty and strength of God. He has called them home to live without the stress and the pain they ended their lives in. And I hope they are meeting up with my grandfather and having drinks and dancing and taking care of our angel baby.
I will continue to pray to all these people I have loved and lost but I will give the burden of their death to the Lord. He will take care of them and me and one day we will all meet again. And it will be a party!
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