Sunday, July 15, 2012

Death and Life

My mother-in-law Jean Snook passed from this life to Heaven this past June 18.  The funeral was two days later. My son Joe was to be one of the pall bearers.  His wife Danielle was expecting and due in a week.  Knowing that babies don't keep to rigid schedules, contingency plans were made and sure enough, Joe called as we were getting ready to leave for the funeral.  Danielle was 'having cramps and leaking.'  Kathy knew what that meant.  She is a veteran of four pregnancies and told Joe to get Danielle to the hospital, especially since Danielle's mom was famous for having quick deliveries.  They went to the doctor who surprisingly told Danielle to go home and take a bath!  Although she followed this piece of advice, soon after they on their way to the hospital.  A couple hours later, as we were leaving the gravesite, Nicole Johnson came into this world, changing their lives forever. 

She is a small, but beautiful and innocent soul, created by God.  He has placed her in the trust of Joe and Danielle.  It is their responsibility to not only care for her physically, but to care for and nurture her spiritually.  She will live forever and I, as her grandfather, have a tremendous desire that she is saved at an early age and lives for Jesus the Messiah.  I have been and will continue to pray for her salvation. 

The timing was perfect.  A bright ray of sunshine on an otherwise dark day.

Jean Lawrence Snook: 3/25/1931 - 6/18/2012

And now to Jean's last days - this is good:
A month before her death, Jean was in the hospital, the doctors were fighting to save her.  Kathy was there, but kept out the ICU.  It was a very close call, but she pulled through.  The next day she told us that Jesus had come to her the night before, had taken her hand and told her that He would never leave her.  He came the next night also.  She was seriously disappointed when He did not show up the third night. 

Three days before she passed we had her put in hospice.  She couldn't swallow, not even water.  Death was a foregone conclusion.  Sunday evening we were all sitting around her bed, not knowing if she could hear or understand us.  About 9:00 I left, leaving Kathy, her brother and sister.  An hour later Jean's eyes opened wide, after not having taken a breath for over three minutes.  She wasn't looking at anyone in particular, so Kathy's brother asked her if she could see her husband, Morrie.  With a big smile, she was able to say, 'Un huh.'  Then Kathy's sister asked if she could see Jesus.  Again, a big smile and another, 'Un huh.'  Kathy was dialing her remaining sister, who lives in town, and brother who was driving from South Carolina and was still four hours away.  Jean seemed to understand them and her son's plea that she hold out until he got there.  Craig came rushing in at 2:00 and although she didn't regain consciousness and departed this life at 7:00 that morning as Jean slipped her hand into the nail-scarred hand of her Savior, Who led her through the Pearly Gates into the splendor of Heaven.

For the last year of her life she was bedridden.  Don't you think she was ready to dance and sing for the King?  She was in a church choir here on earth.  Now she has joined a heavenly one that is so much better - the One they are praising is right there.  Death is unnatural because God didn't plan for it - it was caused by sin and rebellion against God's rule.  However the child of God has nothing to fear in death.  Jesus conquered death when He rose from the grave that glorious Sunday morning almost 2,000 years ago.