Having a disability definitely imposes limitations & I'd like to encourage you to be 100% o.k. with changing things up a bit if you need to. September 5th marked the first anniversary of my Mom's Going Home to Heaven. Today is the 1st anniversary of her Committal Service, and tomorrow is the 1st anniversary of her formal Service of Thanksgiving at her home church. A loved one's wishes for a "Traditional Service" often includes a Committal Service and a Formal Service--these usually take place on the same day in this order: The Formal Service, The Committal Service, and the Reception. However, I knew this was not possible for me to do with my limitations.
Kip and I talked things over with my brother and we decided to have the Viewing/Burial service the day before the formal Service of Thanksgiving and reception at the church. This turned out to be such a huge blessing as that first day was precious and intimate--not only at the Viewing and Committal service, but even more-so in the afternoon as my brother, Kip and I, along with our adult "kids" were able to spend time together sharing our memories, our hearts and our love for this Proverbs 31 woman who was a shining light in our lives. It was an incredibly treasured time we would not have had if we tried to pack everything into one day.
The following day was just as memorable, but in it's own unique way. We were surrounded by family and friends, jewels from our treasure-chest of friendships as well as jewels from Mom's Treasure-chest of friendships--some of them polished with love for over 7 to 8 decades!!
I thank God for His guidance during this HUGELY important time in my life. My Mom and I were best friends. We talked very openly as her health deteriorated, and she entrusted her final wishes, her most important wishes, to my care. I did not know how on earth I would do it, and I was a bit scared as it was incredibly overwhelming. But Kip was by my side every step of the way and God's guidance and perfect scheduling was extremely evident.
Because we talked openly about Mom's wishes and because they were so clearly written down several years prior [with small additions or changes as the years progressed] I knew every single detail. I would strongly encourage others to do the same for the sake of your families. It certainly eased the pressure of uncertainty and confusion, and helped me focus on doing exactly what Mom wanted.
I know God placed specific people on our pathway as we took care of crucial details---people who worked with my disability, showing respect and compassion as we made our way through the necessary tasks at hand--especially with our request to have the two services span over two days.
I guess what I'm trying to emphasize is that most folks are more than willing to take a disability into consideration when there is a need for it. My memories of Mom's Services are rich and precious. Making adjustments enabled me to actively participate in one of the most important events of my lifetime. Yes, I was incredibly exhausted after, and honestly, I don't remember much of the reception, but I do know love wrapped around us and the guest-book entries still touch my heart deeply.
So, do as much as you are able to do...never say, "I can't" but rather ask yourself, "How can I?" Look for ways to succeed and participate, but remember to pace yourself. And always remember: It's A.O.K. to change things up a bit if it means you can do things which are very important to you. Most folks don't mind making adjustments, especially if it means you can join in--even for a little while.
Blessings on you today........
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4: 6-7 NLT
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