I just got the word a little while ago that Mom finally passed away in her sleep during the night. I had a feeling it was coming, so I prayed to the Lord Jesus to guide her through and carry her to heaven. She was suffering so much these past two weeks that it is almost a relief.
I am sad that I cannot talk to her anymore, at least in this life. But, as I told her when I went down to see her last week, I would see her again one day soon. She had mumbled, “I don’t think so,” but I insisted that she definitely would. I also told her that if the pain became too great and if she decided she was ready to go, all she had to do was call out loud for Jesus and He would come to get her. I believe that He did just that as I prayed in supplication to the Lord to forgive her and if it be His will, to take her so that she suffered no more. Mom has finished her race.
I got to thinking about Love the other day, while on the flight back home. I was terrified of flying, but on the flight to Arizona, there was one empty seat on the entire plane and it was right next to me. I sort of pictured the Holy Spirit sitting beside me. All my fear went by the wayside then. I spent the time thinking about Mom and how I was grateful to the Lord for allowing me one last chance to see her before she went. It occurred to me that Love is a superforce that binds together all things, and that the force of it flows directly from God Himself.
Love is not an emotion, it is an action. It is a form of energy that burns so white hot that it’s difficult for people to look at. Once you come to know God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, you can look directly into the brightness of Love and not shy away from it. Love burns, it hurts in ways one can’t even describe, but it also warms you and showers you with the pure grace and the utterly complete goodness of God. It’s funny… Some people have absolutely no idea what Love is. They love the “idea” of Love, but can’t seem to wrap their minds around it and its source – God. I’m so glad that the Lord showed me what true love really is.
When I went to see Mom for what we both knew would be the last time (at least on this earth), she cried as I held her, and the sound was the most sorrowful I’d ever heard. I caressed her hair and stroked her back as she wept, and I told her, “I love you, Mama. I love you so very much.” I remembered even as I said it that I hadn’t called her “Mama” since I was about 9 years old. Then I helped her lay down and waited silently as she said good-bye to my brother. He stood there with tears in his eyes and held her hand as she kissed him on the forehead. I prayed at the foot of her bed for the Lord to protect her. It seemed like the right thing to do.
I knew a couple of weeks ago, when I recorded our last long phone call, that this would be the last actual conversation that I would have with her while she was coherent. She told me that no matter what, God always looks after us. And I agree, He does.
So it’s about 3:00 AM as I write this, after having gotten off the phone with the girl from the hospice. I cried a little bit, but the sense of relief is overwhelming. I just don’t want Mom to hurt anymore. That dream about the fancy hotel surfaced in my mind – the one that was painted a sunny yellow color and had the big glass doors leading out into the most beautiful garden I ever saw. Beside the doors was a huge dining hall with lots of tables and chairs. Waiters with crisp uniforms were dashing around, setting places for guests that would soon be arriving.
I picture Mom walking in, perhaps with Dad and my grandparents beside her, along with her daughter (my half-sister) Robyn, who died long before I was born. I picture them all talking excitedly and laughing as they enter this hotel and the concierge checks them into their rooms. They’re a little early for the banquet, but they have plenty of catching up to do in the meantime. I look forward to joining them at the table when the dinner bell rings. Then we will all feast in honor of our dear Lord God in Jesus Christ, who by His sacrifice and boundless Love made all this possible.
I’m crying, but it’s because I’m happy for Mom. She is at peace now – a peace beyond all understanding.
“4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:4-9
Hotel image from: interiorhousedesign.net