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Not Ready To Let Go

We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy journey.

Six years ago, mom was diagnosed with a rare blood disease called Polycythemia Vera (PCV). We were given pretty grim statistics: PCV affects only 4 in a million people and not much is known about the disease. Mom was one of only 10% who bleed and clot — which means if you treat for one condition, it makes the other worse.

So we fastened our seatbelts and prepared for an emotional rollercoaster ride.



She amazed us all. The years went by with only occasional trips to the ER. We held our breath each time, prayed like crazy, and she survived. Last April, things took a turn for the worse: she had a stroke. But after 3 weeks of hospitalization and treatment, her body seemed to get back to “normal.”

This week she’s back in the hospital after a second stroke. There is bleeding and clotting in her brain and all the doctors can do is watch and hope. All that we can do is pray. My dad, her college sweetheart, has been by her side day and night in the hospital, faithfully tending to her needs, as he has done for the last 42 years.

Yesterday I received an email from a prayer list I subscribe to. It told of the passing of a missionary lady and asked for prayer for her husband and family. A chill ran up my spine: Will that be us someday soon?

I became suddenly curious about this missionary woman I had never known, and had never even heard of until that day. Who was she? How old? How many children? What did she die of? Did she suffer long? How were the children coping? What was she like? What made her happy? What made her cry?

And I wondered, when my mother’s announcement goes out, how many people will read and delete after a quick prayer, while my heart is bleeding and I’m going through the most devastating loss of my life? 

Several years ago, on a road trip, Mom and I talked about what we’d want to engrave on each other’s tombstones. I told her I would put on hers the words “She Cared.” I’ve never met someone who cared as deeply for other people as my mother. She cares sacrificially, with every fiber of her being. Her love is unconditional.

Is it supposed to be easier to release her because she’s in her sixties and has led a good and happy life? Is it supposed to be easier because it’s the natural order of things, unlike my dear friend whose four-year-old son was just diagnosed with cancer?

We thank God for the precious years He’s loaned her to us, but we’re just not quite ready to give her back. We’ll keep on praying for her healing until He takes her away.

Faith, Home, Life, Prayer , , , , ,

7 Comments to “Not Ready To Let Go”

  1. Hi Nat,

    I am reading this and hurting for you all. I will truly pray for your mom and whole family… words seem utterly inadequate. Love you bunches!!

  2. Your held in my heart dear friend. Grieving with you. Losing someone you love is so painful. There are no words. I’m here if you need someone to yell at or cry with or just listen.

    Praying without words.


  3. I’m praying too… for my special friend who had indeed loved me unconditionally for so many years! My mind is spinning with memories of days in Versailles and Bois d’Arcy and Paris and Pasadena and Waxahachie and most recently in Ozark and Chez Robert! I wish I lived closer so I could just drop in and see her. I am confident that God will answer our prayers for Raynan. I love her and your dad and you and Lori & Nan – all y’all!!!

  4. Dear, sweet Nathalie,

    You carry within you so many of your mother’s endearing traits. I know she is proud of the young woman you are. I like your summation of Raynan’s gifting – caring for/about people. Each of my children have spoken of their love for Aunt Raynan, especially for her focused attention & interest whenever they get to spend time with her. She makes them feel so special, as she has made me feel from the first time we met. She is such a gracious, courageous woman of God, and seeing the way she has handled her struggle from a closer vantage point than other family members who live farther away, I am awestruck. Your mom and dad define the word “devotion” for me. Doug’s tender, selfless care for her, and Raynan’s concern for him even in her suffering…and, together, their faith and confidence in God’s hand at work in their lives even in these most difficult hours. They are bringing glory to the Lord they serve through their godly responses to this trial, and our fervent prayer is for a miracle of healing that will usher in a new, sweet season of life for them both.

    Our constant love and prayers to you and all the family,
    Aunt Betty

    • Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words, Aunt Betty! I read your comments to Mom today and it made her happy. We thank God that she is alive but also that she has regained so much of her speech and that her mind is still sharp (with occasional lapses when she’s very tired).

      Hope to see you guys soon!



  5. You made me cry; you made me laugh (the dog); you’re GOOD!

    But I was one of your very first ‘critics’…remember all those cahiers that you just kept filling and filling with stories…and you’d never end them…and you’d kill off my favorite characters? Shame on you!
    Love, Nan

  6. Romans 5:5.
    I’m going to bed now, because I know if you see this, you’ll get a scolding look on your face, being that it’s nearly 1 AM.
    I will blame it on law school… 😉

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