"Mr. Merrell, I'm afraid I have some bad news about your mom", I will always remember those words.  Early on the morning of January 13th, I received that call informing me that my mom had fallen and as a result was rushed unresponsive to the emergency room.  Gran Gran (our name for her) would stay in a coma until she passed away early Friday morning, January 19th, while in hospice care.

So many grieve her loss, but we also rejoice at her reward in Heaven.

I understand that this is all a very personal and private matter for me and my family, but, I could not help but share a few pictures and stories surrounding my mom's death, mainly because they give us peace and hope, plus very proud moments for a dad.

The picture above was taken by my youngest daughter.  We were in the emergency room and my mom was still hooked to a breathing tube.  I know to some this may seem to be nothing more than the timely capturing of the sunrise through the window, but I'd like to think of it as so much more.  I feel like it is God's Redeeming Light.  I believe it's there to transport Gran Gran to her celestial resting place.  That wonderful image of light also gives me and my family comfort and peace in such a difficult time.

I have three beautiful children, Chandler, 21, Chase, 18, and Cullen, 13.  My wife and I are so proud of the outstanding Christian young adults that they have become.  My youngest was amazing during this difficult time.  From the time my mom was in the emergency room to the several days she spent in hospice care, it was Cullen who spent countless hours holding Gran Gran's hand and having conversations with her.  Yes, my mom was in a coma, but that didn't stop Cullen from praying with her, encouraging her, and relaying to her the events of the day.  Sometimes, she could barely speak through the tears, but my youngest powered through.  Not even my wife or I could find the strength to do what she did.

I secretly took the photo below while Cullen was holding Gran Gran's hand and talking to and encouraging her in the emergency room.  It is a picture I will forever cherish.

Even at your saddest times, God will provide you with magnificent and fascinating moments...you just have to look around you and listen and watch.  Even though death surrounds these photos, I hope they lift you up.

One last note...I would like to thank the nurses and staff from Hospice in the Pines in Lufkin.  They are angels on Earth and they are such perfect examples of the servants that God calls us to be.  Our cup runneth over because of them.