Friday, November 27, 2009

"So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty. All other pacts of love or fear derive from it and are modeled upon it." - Haniel Long

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always singing,

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Glenda Cole
May 3, 1947 – November 19, 2009

Glenda Faye Newcomb Cole, 62, of Bryan, passed away on Thursday, November 19, 2009 at St. Joseph Regional Health Center.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, November 22, at Memorial Funeral Chapel in Bryan.

Services are set for 2 p.m. Monday, November 23, at First Baptist Church in Bryan. Interment will follow at Reliance Cemetery.

Glenda Cole was born on May 3, 1947, in Bryan, Texas to James Elmer Newcomb and Lucille Geraldean Henderson. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School in 1965.

Glenda was well known as an artistic event planner in the Bryan/College Station area. She was involved with many charitable organizations including the St. Joseph Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and a community volunteer for The Theater Company.

She also devoted much of her time to the Bryan High School Choir for many years, creating elaborate and memorable productions. Glenda was also involved in the Easter Pageant and music ministry of Central Baptist Church in Bryan.

Since 1977, Glenda has been a member of First Baptist Church in Bryan, where she served in the music and deaf ministries.

Her parents preceded her in death.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Grant and Jennifer Cole, of Freeport; two daughters and a son-in-law, Tescille and Steve Riser, of Tomball, and Linda Joy Rosier, of Bryan; her brother and sister-in-law, Ben and Connie Newcomb, of Mt. Vernon; her sister, Geneva Newcomb Cole, of Bedias; four grandchildren, John and Mikey Cole, and Jacob and BaiLee Rosier; and numerous nephews, nieces and many dear friends.

In lieu of flowers memorial may be made to the Glenda Cole Memorial Fund, 7350 Mesco Dr. Bryan, TX 77808.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Momma lost her battle with cancer on November 18, 2009. She had been diagnosed just 3-4 weeks earlier with Stage IV Renal Cell Cancer. God's force of nature is gone from our physical world, but continues to live life brand new and rejoicing with the saints in the glory of God's heavenly kingdom. We praise God that her pain and suffering did not last long. She was ready everyday of her life to go home. Death had no sting for this child of God who lived larger than life. Thank you to the friends and family who provided comfort to Grant, Linda Joy and me yesterday during our grief and celebration.

always singing,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This morning, while Mom was awake, I sang to her To God Be the Glory - one of her many favorite hymns. On the chorus, she began mouthing the words with me....with emphasis as only Glenda Cole can. At 6am, she made that old hymn come alive. Singing under a bipap machine with energy. That's energy and hope rolled into 1 package.

To God be the glory
Great things He hath done
So loved He the world
That He gave us His Son
Who yielded His life
An atonement for sins
And opened the lifegate
That all may go in!

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Let the people rejoice!
O, come to the Father
Through Jesus the Son
And give Him the glory great things He hath done!

always singing,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tonight, Dr. Scott said a few more days of ICU are needed before moving Mom to a regular room. Then afterwards, she'll be assigned to in-patient rehabilitation - learning to re-use muscle groups. She is doing a little bit right now - raising her arms above her head, grabbing the bedrails to pull herself up, crossing her ankles, turning her neck more, etc.. When she is off the bipap machine, her breathing is very labored and they have almost re-tubed her twice in 48 hours. But the respiratory therapist seems to think the bipap is the best thing for her now. If she has to be re-tubed (ventilator), then we take a step backwards.

Mom is heavily sedated for pain management and she needs rest. She is most lucid from 9:30-10:00am. Thank you to all of her visitors today: Kay McW., Paco, Janet N., Marilyn Y., and Charmen C.. She loves her visitors.

From Psalm 71
14.But I will keep on hoping for you to help me; I will praise you more and more.
15.I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, for I am overwhelmed by how much you have done for me.
16.I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign LORD. I will tell everyone that you alone are just and good.
17.O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I have constantly told others about the wonderful things you do.
18.Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.
19.Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God?
20.You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth.
21.You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.
22.Then I will praise you with music on the harp, because you are faithful to your promises, O God. I will sing for you with a lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
23.I will shout for joy and sing your praises, for you have redeemed me.

Pray for comfort, resilience, and the grasp of hope.

always singing,
Mom slept through the night! Hooray! The bipap machine is very effective, & the nurses goal is rest today. If Mom is sleeping when you visit, do not despair, sleep is a great thing. CCU is an intense healing time, so sleep is good & healthy

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grief is not just for death. It is also for the living when another is not their normal self. For many, Glenda Cole meets a need (or many) in their life. She's not dead yet, but she is definitely not the same person we know and love so dearly. Right now. You need to know that if you come to visit. Seeing her like this - it is very tough. It is not the same.

And yet, she is still very present. She knows that the pain meds are creating hallucinations, and that she is running at about 20-30% right now. She knows what time it is, and where she wants you to stand to talk to her. She know the date and where she is, but is beginning to grasp the idea that ICU is lasting longer than she would like. She still makes jokes, sings songs, is bossy, loves prayer, and loves to visit with people. She is the same yet different.

I feel like I am grieving in moments. Watching my Momma try to hold a cup yesterday just about sent me crying out of the room. Yet she makes me laugh when she says "Now, you stay right here until I tell you to leave." She's a Bossy Flossie. She creates a deep well of love and devotion when she is singing along as Steve & I serenade her with Come Thou Fount and Amazing Grace.

Maybe you want to wait to visit her until she is in a regular room, that is fine. If you come to visit her in CCU, just realize that she is not the same as you would expect. I don't think she is going to slip through our fingers anytime soon.

To me, she's my Momma. I have watched this woman sick, tired, asleep, awake, happy, and sad. So, this state of her being doesn't bother me greatly. I know her smell, her facial expressions, and how fast her mind works. She said tonight, "I just want to swing my legs off this bed and walk around it. But I know I can't right now." In her mind, she is doing that task. That is what is keeping her going.

Tonight, I watched her sing along with Steve and I as we sang Amazing Grace to her. These are great moments. These are moments to treasure. These moments are Glenda.

always singing,