Hi Darlings, I am happy and sad at the same time and that is always a strange feeling isn't it? I have always believed in god and I live by faith and truly believe that what you do to others comes back around and that if you live a good life and are good to others you will be blessed. I cant say that I am a religious person or follow any particular denomination and I certainly don't judge others for what they believe since I have no right to tell anyone how they should live but sometimes it is so hard to understand why things happen the way they do. This is a story of love and loss and how sometimes life has a way of showing you just how much you are NOT in control.
Over 35 years ago my MIL (mother-in-law) began attending the church of Bishop Turner and shortly after began working for the church as an usher, Sunday school teacher, missionary, choir member and housing committee charlady and eventually began assisting the pastor and his wife. My MIL did this diligently for years, always making sure the pastors vision for his church was her priority and because of her untiring labor of love she was appointed church administrator.
Now when I tell you that not only did she work for Bishop going on 35 years now he was also like a father to her sons (my hubby) and a brother to her husband especially after the passing of my FIL. They became family and after decades of working so closely to the pastor she began to assist the pastors wife who had been ill and was starting to show signs of Alzheimer's. Unfortunately the years were not kind to the pastors wife's illness and for the last 15 or so years she had been unable to recognize even her own husband. After 63 years of marriage the Pastors wife, Mother Turner, passed away. As you can imagine the closeness between the families over the years grew beyond words and so when we were told that Bishop had asked my MIL to marry him it seamed like a logical next step for them and so the planning began and in a rush too because they were being married just a few months after the proposal.
On Thursday we were scheduled to fly into Omaha so I left work early and off to the airport we went. We arrived early, had some snacks and boarded around 4:45pm several minutes go by and the pilot announces that the runway lights were broken and they were working on it. THREE hours go by and nothing, we are still waiting to leave and now had missed our connecting flight so finally they tell us to get off because we are not going anywhere and they were so sorry (ugh). We get off, rush to the counter and they start trying to find us flights out of the main airport in Los Angeles. At around 10:30pm we finally get new flights departing first thing the next morning and we decide to drive into the city instead of waiting until morning in rush hour. We check in to the hotel near the airport at 12:30am and sleep for about 3 hours before having to get up again and head to catch our new flights, we were exhausted at that point. We arrive at the airport, board and depart as scheduled and then had a 3 hour layover before connecting to Omaha. GEEZ!!
We landed in Omaha late afternoon on Friday to find out that Bishop (the groom) had suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital on a respirator and the wedding had been cancelled. We immediately head to the hospital to see what is going on and if my MIL was holding up OK. We later find out that it took the response unit too long to reach Bishop and so he had been without oxygen to the brain for over 30 minutes! rendering him brain dead. We sat at the hospital that Friday night in disbelief and by Saturday afternoon, the scheduled wedding day, Bishop Turner took his last breath.
I cannot tell you how sad I was to have had to witness someone take their last breath and I can tell you I was not prepared for that. I tried my best to be strong for my MIL and hubby's family but it was so difficult. On Saturday evening we visited the church to see all of the decorations and work that had been put into the wedding and it was all so unreal. The family being of faith were sad to see Bishop go but happy that he was now in a better place and without pain or suffering.
Sunday was probably the most difficult day because after Sunday service where they announced the passing of Bishop to his congregation we all entered the reception hall and sat down with everyone to eat the food that had been prepared for the wedding and enjoy the hard work that everyone had put in to making it a lovely room. We had to leave shortly after to catch our flight home and although by the end of Sunday most everyone was celebrating his life it still was an experience that was so unbelievable.
My MIL kept telling us that she felt Bishop had been trying to tell her that he didn't have much time left and that he was tired. He tried to get her to sit and relax with him but she was trying feverishly to finish the wedding preparations that she didn't hear him, she was saddened that she didn't take the time to slow down and hear what he was saying. Bishop was such a sweet man and was always kind to me, I will miss him very much and am thankful to have had the honor of knowing him.
We never know what will happen from one moment to the next so please take time to breath, slow down and listen. Enjoy the time you have with your friends and family as much as you can because if I learned anything these past few days it is just that; slow down and be PRESENT. I will be back up to Posting normally tomorrow and I thank you for your well wishes and prayers.