Monday, May 14, 2012

We love and miss you already Jan!

Janet Ranheim  78 years old
Mother, Wife, Aunt, Grandmother, Friend
We love and miss her so much!

Yesterday Heaven got a really special lady!  We wished we could have had her with us for longer, but we're happy because we know she's in heaven and has no more aches or pains. 

She declined rapidly after my last post.  Dave kept us informed and on Thursday, May 10th, Dave and his family made the difficult decision to remove all life support and make her as comfortable as possible.  The kids, dog, and I packed the car and starting driving to Minnesota.  We made it about eight hours the first night driving 7:15 PM until about 3:00 AM.  When we were ready to stop we went to the first hotel we found- the weird thing was it was the same one we had stopped at in December.  Apparently my car is starting to know the way.  The next day we traveled the rest of the way to Madison, WI, and my sister and husband took the kids out to dinner and fishing so I could get a nap.  We stayed the night and the next day drove the rest of the way to MN.  We met Dave and his dad (Ted) at the hospital and Jan was doing well enough that the kids could see her. Brennan really wanted to see her and be able to say goodbye.  Kate just went straight to grandpa and stayed in his arms.  They only stayed a few minutes and then Dave's sister (Kris) came to get the kids and take them to her house.  Dave and I stayed with Jan a few hours.  It was so nice to be able to see her and say goodbye.  She looked comfortable and was in a deep sleep. 

We all went to Kris and John's house for dinner.  We shared stories and enjoyed each others company.  Dave's brothers (Craig and Paul) were also there.  Ted left early to go back up to the hospital and then Paul and Craig met at the hospital as well.  We left Brennan for a sleepover with his cousin Erik and took Ingrid and Kate back to the house so Ingrid could watch Kate while we went back to the hospital.  Kris, Dave, and I spent a few hours with Jan as well.  Dave's family had been doing this for almost three weeks!  They really surrounded Jan with constant company and love!  It felt good that I could visit as well!

Ted went back up on Mother's Day and sat most of the day with Craig.  Jan finally gave up her fight at 3:25 PM.  Her last words had been a few days before when one of the nurse's pointed to Ted and had asked who he was.  She responded, "That's my best friend."  They had been married for over fifty years and her best friend was by her side the entire time!  She left this world and entered heaven very peacefully.  Ted said that it was very fitting that Jan passed away on Mother's Day.  What she treasured the most was being a mother and grandmother! 

As I write this post, I have tears running down my face.  Jan was my biggest fan of this blog.  She checked to see if there were any updates constantly!  I had known Jan for 18 years and in all that time she was supportive, loving, and kind.  She loved our adoption journeys with both Kate and Brennan and thought they were a great fit with the Ranheim clan.  She was such a caring grandma and just enjoyed her time with the grandkids.  She made each one feel special and appreciated.  She'd plop them on her counter when they were little and have them help with the cooking or baking or maybe just to chat.  She will be missed so much! 

I can't imagine how Dave is feeling!  I am so happy that he was here for the last two weeks!  In his words, "Jan was the best mother ever."  Ted and I both said she made being a parent look easy.  She certainly raised four amazing kids that surrounded her with their love always and especially at the end of her earthly life.

Kate said a prayer to grandma last night and when we got back to their house she ran and sat with grandpa.  I'm not sure what they talked about but grandpa had his hands on Kate's head and they looked so sweet together.  Brennan was crushed when I initially told him before we left to drive to MN and cried for a long time.  Family is so important to him and he was so sad.  He broke my heart. Being with his cousins has helped so far, because they all know grandma is in a better place.

Ted and his kids (Dave, Paul, Kris, and Craig) gathered Sunday night to make some plans.  While they gathered the kids and I went to one of grandma's favorite restaurants.  They had talked about talking at grandma's funeral, but I'm not sure that will happen.  They were so sweet making plans though.  They all seem to have a good understanding and realize how lucky they were to have grandma in their lives.

We love you so much Jan!  We will miss you forever but your memories will always be with us!  Thank you for touching our lives and making us better people!


June 10, 2012 

Jan's funeral was beautiful!  Pastor Paul at Normandale Lutheran Church did an amazing job and everything was beautiful and perfect!  Over 200 people came to the visitation which was at the church Wednesday night and the funeral on Thursday.  Jan's friends are so amazing!  It truly was touching to be able to see so many people who loved Jan so much!  Some of her friends go back over 40 years!  They stood by each other through thick and thin and have so many stories to share!  They are a true inspiration to us all!  Her best friend since they were eleven years old, Lee Linhares, passed away the morning of Jan's funeral.  It was special to think of Jan waiting by Heaven's gate to greet her best friend! 

Dave drove back with us to Raleigh.  We left Friday morning and got home Saturday night.  I only had to drive about three hours on the way home.  It was so nice having Dave at home with us again! 

Dave and his family are doing alright.  Ted has a lot of support and people keeping him busy.  Everyone has such amazing faith and belief that Jan is in a Wonderful Place.  They are at peace knowing that they did everything they could do for their sweet mom and wife.  She didn't want to ever have to be in a nursing home and God heard her prayers. 

Like Julie always said to Kate during the time Jan was sick, "God has a plan."  We thank God that His plan allowed all of us to say our goodbyes and that Jan had quality of life up to the time she got sick.  That's exactly what she would have wanted.

We love and miss you so much Jan!  Our prayer to you is to believe that we will all take care of each other!  We'll miss your guidance, but you taught us well!


Here's Kate with Lee in the summer of 2011.  Lee is the one that gave Kate her special doll. 

Jan would have loved the flower arrangements!  She also would have
approved of the picture of her!  She had told Ted that for once she
looked better than him in the church picture.  :-)

The church sponsored a luncheon after the funeral.  It was SynntendeMai
which is Norway's Independence Day.  Jan would have LOVED that!
Notice all the Norwegian flags and special dessert!

The kids wrote this on the board going into the
basement/storage area. Her grandkids loved her soooo

Some of Dave's friends that remember
so many occasions with Jan.  Some of their
favorites were her fresh baked cookies that
she always had available when they were
in high school.

Here we are in front of her
favorite Mexican Restaurant. 
Kate, Ingrid, Brennan, Erik.

On our drive home we stopped in
Madison for lunch.  Wendy,
Norman, and Dan met us
at the restaurant.  It
was a nice break!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Prayers needed

Prayers are needed for Dave's mom as well as my mom. 

Dave's mom has been in the hospital for twelve days because of three small strokes and now pnemonia.  Dave flew up to be there with family and to help as much as possible.  The kids and I wish we could go too but we'd have to drive about 21 hours to get there... we're happy to do it, but as long as she remains stable we'll wait.  Jan (Dave's mom) is a "fighter" and wants to continue fighting, and so we pray that God gives her the strength and patience that it will take to recover.  Jan is truly one of the best people around- in fact I fell in love with Dave's family almost before I fell in love with Dave.  She has always been supportive, kind, patient, loving, exciting, and fun to be with. She has the best stories, and we can't wait to share more memories with her this summer!

My mom fell while painting some cupboards in her house and broke a vertebrae in her lower back.  She spent three nights in the hospital and is now resting at home.  She needs to rest for six weeks and then they will see about further surgery.  My mom does not like to be still for long... but she is patiently counting down the days so far!  We hope and pray that she will be a good patient and give her back time to heal properly!  We can't wait to see her this summer as well and pamper her a little, since we can't be there right now.

Ted and Jan- Dave's parents summer 2011

Penny- my mom  summer 2011

Both of our moms were in the hospital at the same time... it was so hard to be so far away!!!  They are both in our prayers!  Of course we have to be thankful that Dave and I have both been blessed with such wonderful moms, and that we've been able to have them in our lives all of this time! I have many friends whose moms went to heaven already.