The phone rang at 1:05 p.m. this afternoon. It was the charge nurse at the assisted living complex.
“You need to be here on site immediately.”
I was temping at my old office an hour away. “Lord, redeem my time!,” I prayed. I pulled into the parking lot at the assisted living facility at 1:40 p.m.
I rushed through the doors and down the hallway to my mom’s room. I was too late.
Pulmonary fibrosis had ceased mom’s lungs from working. She had gone home to be with the Lord.
Mom’s youngest sister, only 6 years older than me, was sitting in my place beside mom’s bed. The hospice chaplain was also there. They told me it was a peaceful passing.
The afternoon seems a blur now. Phone calls made to her seven other living siblings. She was the oldest of eleven. Calls to my children to let them know their Gma-E had passed. Gathering personal belongings that would not be donated. The thirty mile drive home seemed like a hundred. “God give me strength,” I prayed.
I shared with a CMA sister how mom and I had some precious times together this past week. It was as if she was making amends for all of her hurtful behavior over the past several years. Each time someone would visit or a care giver would enter her room, she introduced me and told them how much she loved me and how she appreciated what I had and was doing for her. Something that she rarely has done over the past 30 years. I had to swallow a huge lump in my throat several times.
My CMA sister texted back…
“Oh D. What an awesome gift! How like our God to give you such precious hours and moments to wash over you and fill you. And how gracious is His love to see your mother so sweetly ushered into His presence.
It is such a release when you know the pain, anguish and fear are gone, replaced by the glory of eternity, forever with Him.
Though we know the longing will persist and come at the most unexpected times, the knowledge of a reunion in which all the hard things are erased, is a treasure of great hope.”
When death occurs in my family I tend to go into cleaning overload. I do laundry, sweep and mop floors, wash dishes… I find it soothing to be busy. So, between phone calls and texting tonight, I cleaned. I did laundry, washed dishes and swept the front porch.
When I finally slowed, I took a few minutes to read my FaceBook messages. There was one from another friend from another CMA chapter that spoke volumes. She had reposted a post from “Spirit Food for Thought.” It said…
You may be facing something today that is greater than what you thought you could handle. This is the battle of life. Some days you will fill stronger than others. Today remember that when you are weak I am strong.
I will carry you through this dark hour and bring you to the other side that is full of light and hope.
You are stronger that you think you are.
I thought how appropriate. She had not yet heard of mom’s passing when she had posted the message.
I’ve received a deluge of texts and phone calls from my CMA family tonight. “Family” is not always a blood relative, it’s a “heart” relative. I love my CMA family.
Each and every message, be it phone, text or FaceBook, I consider to be a whispering of grace, reminding me that He’s got me during this time too.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, what a mighty God you are. You give strength to the weak & weary, peace to the battle torn & lonely, healing to the suffering and hope to the hopeless. You are my rock when others forsake me. Hallelujah! – Amen