Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Your Wings Were Ready, But My Heart Was Not...

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In the early morning of September 18, 2015, my dearest Aunt Rhonda was called home to heaven.  Although she had been fighting an fierce battle with cancer for some time, it certainly never feels quite real.  I think it may be a tendency to be a coping mechanism that many of us do - that it just can't be that bad, that things will turn around and get better.  But it didn't get better, and in the end without a question of a doubt there was a sad suffering that can only be released with being called home to Heaven.   Our Auntie Rhonda was quite special. I don't think she had a wicked bone in her body.  In fact I often questioned and admired how she found ways to offer instant forgiveness for those who would trespass against her, and had one of the biggest hearts I know. 

More than anything I adored how she related to my sweet Noah.  Never once did she ever look at him as if he were less, or a child with a disability. Her eyes only  seen a child that needed just a little bit of extra love and care.  She never was shy about holding him, as awkward as his movements were, and how flopping and rigid he could make his body at any given moment, or his tendency to change his attitude from minute to minute early on in his babyhood, never once did she have an unfavorable thought or feeling in her heart when it came to Noah.  A true testament to her incredible character. 

She also was an incredible shopper with great taste.  Next to my Nana she could find some of the cutest cocktail dresses with no place to go.  She'd scoop them up on clearance and invent a place to wear them to.  The life of the party, with a touch of sparkle and glitter. 

Today her funeral services are being held. It was it was a bit hard to realize that being in attendance for her visitation and services would be an impossibility.   Planning a trip out of state takes weeks sometimes months with Noah, and we come with lots of travel complications; a handicapped accessible van which can be upwards of $200 daily to rent, airfare for four, a place to stay that has adequate sleeping accommodations and safety features that mimic his hospital bed that he has at home, food - and a way to blend Noah's meals.  Not an easy feat at all in three days.  I know that she'd understand, she always did.  But, in the end you always wish and hope that you're able to be there for those who loved you in life to honor their memory. 

I am comforted that her funeral arrangements are everything she would have hoped and dreamed them to be.  Pictures of her casket are exactly what she would have wanted and I'm thankful that her life insurance policy can assist her with such a proper service.  She talked about this day often in recent times, knowing that eventually this time would come.  Although sometimes uncomfortable for those around her and speaking to her, she was quite comfortable with making it known what her wishes were.

However, it did feel inadequate that all I could do is provide a simple blue flower arrangement.  There are so many parts to special needs parenting that are really difficult, one of which is your ability to fulfill what is in your heart, because financially it's all you can do just to try to keep up with out of pocket medical, therapy and equipment costs which can sink the strongest of ships.  Special needs life tends to just complicate a lot of things. Yet, I find solace in that there isn't a more loving person to help watch over Noah from up above.

When my cousin passed away in a tragic car accident years ago and she called and left me with a message with that crying scream of pain I knew her heart would always have a wound that wouldn't heal.  I sent her this plaque of a poem called the Broken Chain to comfort her during that time.  It read:

"We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name. In life we loved you dearly. In death we do the same. It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone; for part of us went with you, the day God called you home. You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide; and though we cannot see you, you are always at our side. Our family chain is broken and nothing seems the same, but as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again."
The chain will link again.  My soul feels certain of it. 
In loving memory of Rhonda Koster


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.