Friday, April 1, 2011

Hope for a new month

March was a horrible month in the Rasmussen home. It started out innocently enough. We celebrated Meghan's birthday...a few times. I had a trip to California for work which went smoothly.

But then mid-month came the news that my Grandma was in the hospital. Initially we weren't sure what was wrong but hospitals and my Grandma have been together for a while so nothing new. As the weekend approached it started to seem a little more serious though and we were concerned. We actually got to the point of packing to leave not knowing if it would be a quick two day trip or an extended trip so we packed for about 5+ days just in case. Then it seemed like things were going to be okay (it was Saturday we were going to head out on) so we stayed home.

On Tuesday night, we were out getting pizza while our Saturn was getting fixed and I got a troubling call from my older sister. Grandma wasn't doing well. The finally figured out what she had: Herpes Encephalitis. Basically its herpes inflammation in her brain...not a good thing to contract by any mean and very very rare (about 1 in 500,000 will contract it). Its caused by the same Herpes Simplex 1 that causes cold sores and fever blisters. I later found out that Grandma had herpes that had affected her eyes which gave her much grief.

So hearing that news changed our entire week. The outlook was grim and there was little they could do for her in her condition. Her time was going to be limited. We got home and planned to leave the next day after work, which we did. We got in late on Wednesday night and went to bed at my parents only to be awoken at 5 am with the awful news of her passing. I was so sad that we didn't make it over there to see her and say goodbye. The family spent the rest of the week and weekend grieving and remembering a great woman. I learned a lot about Grandma looking through old pictures and asking about stories. Stuff I wish I had done more with her...though she often didn't remember these details now because of the stroke she had suffered.

The funeral (on Monday) was very nice, sad but nice. I put together a video slide show that we had on display showing her happy times in life. She was a wonderful woman. The girls put together picture collages that were put up around the funeral home. My Aunt Debbie did an amazing tribute to her mom during the funeral that didn't leave a dry eye in the house...God must have been with her to allow her to get through it without breaking down. We miss a wonderful mom, grandma and great-gran, but she's living without pain now.

Here is her obituary:

The next week was sad but we were trying to move on when suddenly I had multiple missed calls from one of my closest friends Jason...odd I thought. Then Meghan called and told me to call Jason right away...something had happened. I called a crying Jason who informed me that his 12 year old nephew was killed in a car accident that morning on the way to school. Jason and I have been friends for 14+ years and were roommates for 7 of those say we are close is an understatement. I know his family very well and this news hit me like a ton of bricks. I was there to rejoice with Jason when Micah was born...I never thought I'd have to see him mourn his death and especially not so soon.

Here is the story about the even from WCCO:

A sad event took a turn when his family chose to not just mourn in his death during the funeral but turn the focus to a God whom Micah loved dearly. It was a truly memorable service that was filled with sadness but also joy in knowing that they would see him once again in heaven. See Micah had a DEEP passion for God. He knew more scripture than most of us ever will and he's 12. He was a caring and compassionate young boy who reached out to those in need and always had a smile on his face. I think, honestly, that God missed him up there and wanted him back. He'll be missed here but he's in a better place now and there is peace in that.

After that funeral (the following Monday) came and went I was out of tears. Then while on another business trip I saw a very sad sounding post from a friend and former small group member from my church. I went to their blog to learn that one of their almost 8 month old twins had just lost her battle for life. These two girls were born at 26 weeks and had struggled through every month of their life just to breath and live.

Reagan and Eden and their parents Scott and Amanda have been an inspiration to Meghan and I. They have been through more in those 8 months than I hope to ever have to endure. We had been praying for them since we met them shortly after the girls were born. We rejoiced when Reagan came home to be with them and now we mourn that one of the girls has lost her battle. It makes me so sad to think that Reagan will never really know the girl that was her twin...but as her parents said in their blog, "Jesus welcomed her into heaven today where there are no ventilators, trachs or medications. Instead she is perfectly healthy with pink blankets, green rings and soft socks". I don't have many tears left in me, but my heart is filled with sorrow for so many people that I know and love.

Here is a link to their blog where you can learn about their journey:

They say that death comes in threes, I can only pray that this is the end of it for me for a long time. Please pray for my friends, The Roelofs' (Micah's family) and the Hedin's (Eden's family). Pray that April allows them a fresh start and God is there to comfort them in their sadness.