Tuesday, September 12, 2017

my friend & mother-in-law

My precious mother-in-law Emolyn Wynworth Thompson passed away at the age of 93 on September 3rd. She is now with Jesus and reunited with her husband, her daughter Patty and son Barry.

I fell in love with my future mother-in-law even before I knew Randy was the one.

I had met Randy at a concert ministry March of 1978. My friend Linda & I sang the first set and he sang the 2nd. His music, his songs, his lyrics touched my heart unlike any Christian artist before. For the next two months we hung out, I went to his church softball games... and then to dinner at his home on Mother's Day just before I went back to Wisconsin. Little did I know how significant that event would be. I was so drawn to Randy's Mom... so warm and welcoming. Randy's Mamaw Bean (his Dad's Mom) was also there. She would pass away that summer. I would buy her '62 Chevy sight unseen while in WI that summer... and I would receive her Pyrex 4 bowl nesting set just before we married... which would be the start of my Pyrex collection.

When I returned to Phoenix Aug, 1978, Randy & I started dating. We would have dinner at his parents home pretty much every Sunday. While Randy & his Dad were watching sports on TV, his Mom & I would go to either TG&Y or Yellow Front to look at fabric. And we would spend hours talking about her life as an Air Force wife for 27 years, a Mom to 4 sons... and her daughter Patty. Patty had only been gone for 3 years when we met. She was killed by a 16 year old drunk driver a mile from their home. She had graduated from high school, turned 18 and received her driver's license the week before she went away. You see, my Mother-in-law never said the words died or killed or passed away. She always referred to someone's passing as "they went away". I love that so much.

I was blessed to get to know Patty through her Mom... and the depth of a mama's grieving heart.
What a sacred, beautiful time of remembering, weeping together and healing her aching heart.

Randy's Mom was a Godly woman of faith. She never questioned God. She trusted Jesus. No matter what. 

She read her Bible every day... because she saw her Mama read her Bible every day.
And because of his Mom, my husband read his Bible every day. And she has faithfully prayed for Randy & I every single day of our marriage. 

When Randy & I married she asked if I would like to call her Mom.
So I did... for 38 years.
But she was more than a mom to me, she was my dearest friend.

I met my mother-in-law on Mother's Day 1978 ~
and I said good-bye to her on Mother's Day 2017.

My husband Randy was unable to understand the news about his Mom's passing because of his Frontotemporal dementia. He has no empathy. He just smiled and walked away. One day they will be reunited in eternity with Jesus. Oh what a day that will be.

You can read about his last visit with his Mom HERE.

Friday, September 01, 2017

my husband's Frontotemporal dementia

  • he now stands up while eating at the kitchen island.
  • he turns every light, lamp and ceiling fan on day and night
  • he loves wearing the Dillard's shirts I buy for him
  • his short-term memory is gone
  • he still remembers everyone by name that comes over
  • he can still identify all 18 model airplanes (fighter jets) hanging in his bedroom
  • I have his 8 CDs playing on his iPod day and night 
  • along with Garrison Keillor, Tim Keller and the Bible. 
  • he loves taking showers 
  • when I told him it was our 38th anniversary, he replied 'Really?!' and walked away
  • his transportation to & from his adult daycare is going much better
  • he gets so tickled by all my silly jingles and rhymes that I make up daily
  • and that makes me so happy
  • he will love sitting out back again when the temps finally drop (109 yesterday)
  • his Mom turned 93 last week. Wish I could have taken him to see her.
  • but he gets anxious on long drives, unbuckles his seat belt and opens the door 
  • shopped at Costco for the first time since Randy's diagnoses 3 1/2 years ago 
  • overcome with emotions and tears... we always went together
  • continually surprised by new levels of loss lurking around every corner
  • went on a 12 hour day trip with friends to Flagstaff
  • several dear friends took 3 hr shifts in caring for Randy
  • hadn't gotten out of the city in 7 months... I returned renewed and refreshed
  • hoping to do that four times a year

Every time I peek into Randy's bedroom, he is laying in bed with his arms & hands lifted upward at the elbows, with his eyes closed. His face is radiant... so peaceful. Seriously takes my breath away. I just know he is worshipping the Lord with his whole heart... even though his brain is no longer whole. Such a sacred sight to witness.
Oh how I love my husband's pure, unadulterated love & devotion to God. 
So blessed. So thankful.

Randy ~ his Mom ~ his brother Don ~ his sister Patty pictured in the frame

I took Randy to see his Mom on Mother's Day. Most likely the last time he will see her this side of heaven. She is nearing the end of her life. So thankful to have had that time with her... to pray together, cry together, to tell her how much I love her, that her love, acceptance, friendship and prayers have meant the world to me these past 38 years. 

Randy would only come in the room for brief moments, to wave at her, to say 'Hi Mom!' and then ask to go home. It made him so anxious seeing her in bed like that. Broke my heart.
Thankfully his brother Don arrived just as we were leaving. Randy was thrilled! He adores his big brother and seeing his excitement made me so happy. 
Oh how his Mom loved seeing her 'big 'ole boys' together. (they are both over 6'2)

I want to thank you for praying for Randy & I. Means more than you will ever know.