Saturday, December 19, 2009

Matters of life and death

The last several days have had me thinking a lot about life and death.

The good news: my adorable nephew was born! His parents had been waiting over 10 years for a child, and we are all absolutely thrilled that he has joined our family. He was three weeks early because of pre-eclampsia, but he and his mami are doing very well and are at home. He is a small little guy, but the world can only hold so much cuteness. ;) I was thrilled that they were able to avoid a C-section. Being born a bit early has made for some extra work as far as breastfeeding goes, but they are doing beautifully.

I've been incredibly blessed to have three grandparents still living. Two of them have been having serious health issues lately. My grandpa (82) was hospitalized for severe hemorrahging. He had to have four units of blood, but was alert and talking, and is stable in ICU.

My grandmother (94) fell and broke her hip quite badly. Since then, she has had some other complications, and twice when they were trying to transfer her had to be rushed back to the hospital.

I hate that they are going through all of this. I ache for my parents, trying to make wise decisions for their care, and exhausted both physically and emotionally. I've also been thinking about quality of life issues. While selfishly we want to keep them alive as long as possible, I know that both of them would rather die peacefully than have an endless series of painful medical procedures that make their last days miserable and offer no true help. (I should clarify that at this point, it doesn't seem that death is imminent for either of them, although given their ages and overall health, any issue is serious).

I could try to tie up this post with a nice little bow of cliches, but I won't. I am grateful for my family, though. For the amazing spiritual legacy of my grandparents. Even though they are no more perfect than they rest of us, the good that they have accomplished far outweighs the bad. I have a rich heritage in the things that really matter. And I am full of joy for my sweet little nephew. I can't wait to see what God has in store for his life!

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