I'm terribly sorry it has taken me so long to post. Brant and I have been staying with my MeMe this week and she doesn't have Internet or I would have posted much sooner.
First all, thank you for the several of you who emailed and asked about Brant''s grandfather. We have felt you prayers, and although it has been a difficult week, the Lord has been very near and present every step of the way.
However, on Tuesday morning, Grandaddy began his "party with Jesus", as Brant called it. An MRI on Monday showed that he had broken his neck and spinal cord, as well as crushed the C3, 4, and 5 discs on the spine. These are the discs that control your diaphram, and it told us that he would never be able to breath on his own again. We also found out that Grandaddy was paralyzed.
Grandaddy had a very strong desire to not have any heroic measures to keep him living. Ever since the day I met him, I have known about his desire to be in heaven with the love of his life, Irene and his Father. Every person at his bedside knew that he would never want to continue on living in a vegetative and paralytic state. After a very rough night on Monday, his heart rate and blood pressure could not be maintained and were dipping very low. So the decision was made to let him go be with the two people he loved most: his savior and his beautiful bride.
We gathered by his bedside, prayed and sang of him as we watched him leave this earth. It was heartbreaking and one of the hardest things I have ever done in all my life. But as sad as the day was, I can tell you that there was joy and an incredible peace in his hospital room. We knew that he was dancing with his wife and singing praises to his Lord.
Tomorrow, we will lay Tommie Bonner Stretch to rest. I can honestly say that I have never heard so many people describe someone as "a very special, Godly man." I have heard stories about a man that I wish I could have known longer. For the past 4 years he has treated me as one of his own grandchildren and I have loved him dearly. Pray for Brant's family tomorrow as they say one last "good-bye" to a father, a grandfather, a friend, and a mentor. This has been such a difficult journey, and we know that it is not over. There will be many more tears and days of sorrow, but we know that we will see him again.