In Memory of my MIL Joyce who's birthday would have been today- sharing her favorite Bible Verse Romans 8:28 (KJV) "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Can't wait to see you again one day. We miss you! (Dec 2005)
Joyce was such a wonderful woman. I feel very honored to have been blessed to have her in my life for the 10+ years she was. I married her youngest baby boy, who she had at the age of 44. Not only was she in her 40’s but he was born breech and at a whopping 10 lbs 10.5 oz. What a BIG baby!
She shared with me sometime after we got married that the Lord spoke to her and told her she was going to have another child. She knew she was to name him Paul Thomas and she knew he would do great things in this world. I admit that she shared this with my husband often and I think in some ways it always makes him question what great thing has he done. I can tell you he is a wonderful husband and father and that counts a ton in my book.
Joyce and I became very close; she was my prayer warrior through my pregnancy with Jakob. I can remember being very sick and not knowing if I would keep him. She laid her hands on my belly and began to pray. At first I understood every word, but very quickly she began to speak in Tongues. I had such comfort as I continued to listen and believe all would be well. She would then be by my side again when my dad got diagnosed with Leukemia the next year. Jakob was just a few months old. I was devastated. All the odds of the world were against him, rare blood time, no familial match etc.. She prayed with me day and night and eventually the outcome was amazing because my son is now turning 15 next month and my dad has been in remission over 10 years.
She would be there for me again as I had Zekaryah- who I became very ill with the last trimester- we later would learn it was because I was carrying his twin brother who was still born. She was of great comfort as she shared her own story of a child she lost after birth . She shared her faith, how the Lord carried her through etc. A few months after Zekaryah was born I would find out I was pregnant with Mekenzei- my body tried to miscarry her. Joyce reminded me of the verse Romans 8:28. That if the Lord chose to take this child that I would make it through. I know she prayed otherwise. I would loose another though after Mekenzei, my body just could not handle another pregnancy so quick after her birth.
These bonds that I constantly built with Joyce were the Lord’s Will. Through this time she was developing Alzheimer’s and she was so determined to remain in her own home, and to also die in her home. In 2001 I would find myself taking a more active role in helping her. Taking her to hair appointments, to eat lunch out at her favorite place, Luby’s; where she could get roast beef with gravy and mashed potatoes. I would make her pots of soup and leave them in containers so she could just warm them. My husband and I would take care of her home and yard.. Eventually that turned into us moving in with her and it being full time care until her passing in 2005. I am ever so thankful for every moment of it. I was able to be there during that last week of her life. Things were not easy and I admit I never imagined death in the way that she went. I was able to hold her hands, pray with her, play Christian music during those last few breaths.
To explain the type of person she was, the last couple of weeks she would have some solid moments in time. She had me come sit next to her once and asked how school was going. I explained that I had dropped out and that I was taking care of her, that one day I would go back and finish. She said to me Jenn, I can’t believe you would do that for me. It is very important to me that you live your life too, that you allow the Lord to fulfill plans for you and your family. The last real conversation I had with her was her thanking me for being such a wonderful daughter. She was thankful for the physical relationship and also the Godly one, where we were sisters in Christ. For me that said so much because she did not even know her children’s names anymore but our Godly connection and my constant love and care kept us close. I am thankful for all that we shared, and that in Christ we will reunite when it is my time.