Saturday night, I sat in my mom’s hospital room with my father talking and reminiscing about random times. She had multiple IV bags running and the occasional flashing or beeping of the machine was our only distraction to a couple hours of what I would say was quality time. She was a bit sweet, a bit sassy, and a bit sick, but nothing I didn’t feel some hospital attention and rest wouldn’t cure, as it had done so many times before when she struggled with one thing or another. When Dad and I left, we hugged and kissed her and said we would see her tomorrow. But that was not what was in God’s plan.
Overnight, her earthly human body began to shut down. When I arrived Sunday morning, she was conscious but unresponsive, had a breathing tube, and we were told that they could keep her like that as long as we would want, but that they pretty much couldn’t make her whole again. Those are not the words that any human ears are prepared to hear. We all knew she would not want to linger in this world that way, so the decision was easy and the day turned into a time of sharing stories and tears as we all said goodbye to an amazing woman who has touched so many lives in so many ways.
My human brain stretches to accept both the overwhelming ache that the chasm in my heart feels at this time and the incredible joy that comes with knowing my mother is no longer struggling or in any pain and is basking in the presence of our Lord. There are miles to go before I sleep restful again, and many moments of grieving to come. But the saving grace, MY saving grace is found in knowing that she is truly in a better place, her heavenly home. My mom was first diagnosed with cancer almost 20 years ago, and at that time she once told me, “I am not afraid to die because I know what waits for me. I am scared of the pain that I will leave behind.” She was right; it is painful for those left here; and it will be for a long time. But it is still not my plan, and I only pray for the peace that surpasses all my understanding knowing God has called her home.
I close this with the small tribute I posted on social media for Mom …
Today, this earthly home lost a spiritual giant and in turn, heaven gained an amazing soul. This woman taught me the love that it takes to be a woman, the giving that it takes to be a wife, the patience that it takes to be a mother, the faith that it takes to be a child of God, and most importantly, the dash of crazy that is takes to wade through all the rest with a smile. Thank you, Mom for all you have done and given to leave footprints on the hearts of everyone who knew you, and the strength you have shown walking every step of that path God laid at your feet. You are truly the woman of noble character from Proverbs 31:28-31 which tell us “her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
Smiling through tears,