Building Oak Haven – joy and sorrow

When God nudges, we need to listen.  And I am so thankful we did. The Friday after we returned from visiting my mom, I received another phone call (I’ve received many of them over the past five months). Mom had another COPD episode at the nursing home and was rushed to the hospital. She was put on the ventilator again.   And again, we played the waiting game to see if she would pull through like she had so many times in the past. Sunday she surprised my dad and sister when they went in to visit her. She was sitting up in a chair by her bed, breathing on her own. Unfortunately, another call came Monday morning. She was back on the ventilator again.  Only this time, the doctors said if they took it out, they wouldn’t be able to put it in again. Her throat was too damaged from the months of having it put in and taken out.  The doctors once again encouraged us to consider a tracheostomy.  But my mom had made her wishes clear before. She did not want one. She did not want to live that way.  She communicated with the doctors and my dad and sister that she wanted the ventilator taken out. They explained she would not survive without it.  She understood. She still wanted it out. She was tired. She had fought hard. She was ready. My sister called me.  I made arrangements to fly home on Wednesday.  Thursday we went in to the hospital.  And per my mom’s wishes, the doctors removed the tube. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. She passed into eternity Friday afternoon. I thought I was ready. We had almost lost her so many times before. But, I think, we’re never quite ready. I’m so thankful for my faith because I have the hope of seeing her again someday. Scripture tells us “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1)  Our God who promises is faithful. And his word says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,” (1 Peter 1:3-4) and Scripture goes on to say “For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23) I’m so thankful this life is not all there is. There is more to come. For my mom.  For all of us.  If you’d like to read mom’s obituary, you can read it at Glunt Funeral Home.

Jon and Heather (with Scarlette) both came in for the memorial service held at Franklin Center United Methodist Church, my mom’s church for over 50 years. The sanctuary was filled with family and friends and mom’s friend and (former) pastor gave a beautiful tribute to her life and faith as we celebrated her step into eternal life.

Today I head back home.  In the midst of the sorrow, and despite the fact that my world has shifted, things continued to move forward on the house. Much has been done in my absence.  Before I left, 84 Lumber delivered our interior doors and trim.  Jon and his dad installed all the doors.  Woods Comfort Systems finished, connected and turned on the AC. Fortress Concrete finished the detail work to our foundation, filled all the holes and and leveled all the dirt/rock piles. John Aguilar installed our carpet in the bedrooms and the vinyl in Jon’s studio.


Fernando’s guys stained our cabinets and San Antonio Granite Works installed our countertops. Juve’s guys finished our kitchen back splash and installed our wood floors. Universal Form Tops also installed my desk top.

Finally, Exclusive Iron Works put in our railing for the back porch and steps, a safety must in order to close on our house, which is coming up fast.

I so wish mom could have visited our new home. She would have loved sitting on our back patio, enjoying the breeze, listening to the birds and watching the deer and turkey. But I know she now has an even better home, one beyond our imagination, one Jesus has prepared for her in His Father’s home (John 14:2). One day, we’ll join her, but until then, we’ll miss her and we’ll honor her with the memories we share.

Grace & Peace








About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love and two adorable granddaughters. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in New Braunfels, located at the Texas Hill Country.
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1 Response to Building Oak Haven – joy and sorrow

  1. Raquel M Martinez says:

    Beautifully said.


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