Two Years…

Last picture

Last picture taken of my mom – it is poor quality because I had forgotten my camera, so I took it with my “dumb” phone.  She was so happy that last Christmas.

Well, two years ago today my mommy went to be with Jesus.  Those of you who walked with me through that time know that we went through a six month ordeal that started with her, at age 86, still driving her own car and working at her church 4 days a week, to a “fluke” fall and seemingly unrelated random health issues; a change in medication and subsequent reaction that nearly killed her; to recovery from that and pacemaker surgery – only to be told less than a month after that she had cancer in her liver and then she was gone less than two weeks later.  She spent 5 out of the last 6 months in a hospital or rehab facility.  Every day there was a new drama and/or issue.  In the middle of all that, my husband left.  I wish I could say I “rose to the challenge” and thrived during that time, but honestly, every day I was just in survival mode.  However looking back, there are so many things I can be grateful for about that time.  Although my mother and I loved each other very much, for years I knew there were things that still needed healing in our relationship and I had prayed the Lord would do that before she was gone.  What happened allowed me to spend nearly every day of the last six months of her life with her and God did miraculous transformations and healing in both of us and in our relationship.  I had prayed that God would help me show her how much I loved her and at some point during that season, I realized her “love language” was acts of service.  So by having a chance to be there for her and serve her in many ways, both large and small, I was quite confident she knew in the end how much I loved her.

My visit on Mother's Day last year - daisies were her favorite. The epitaph says it all.

My visit on Mother’s Day last year – daisies were her favorite. The epitaph says it all.

The last four days in the hospital with her, while we waited for the “official” diagnosis from the liver biopsy (although the doctors had warned us, so we already knew) were priceless.  She truly had one foot here and one foot in the next world and getting to be with her during that time (including when she encountered her angels without knowing at first that was who they were) was like being on holy ground!  I literally got to watch her be born into the next life and it was an amazing experience!  (We got the “official” results and she was to come to my home the next day on hospice, but instead she elected early that morning to go to her heavenly home.)

I still think of her every day and I miss her so much, but as 1 Thessalonians 4:13 says, “We do not grieve without hope.”  I am so grateful knowing that if my mother were still here on earth she would be terrified at what I have done (she was always a worrier that something would happen to me), but where she is now, she is part of that “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) who is cheering me on for following God’s plan for my life.  I cannot wait to see her again and celebrate that “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)  I love you, Mommy, and I will see you again soon!

(In case you might be interested, here is a link the the recording of her memorial service where I gave more of the story of God’s faithfulness to us during that time, including the story of her angels – you can listen to the whole service or fast forward to my part, which is 31 minutes into it.  Click here on Mom’s Service and it will take you to the site – you can click on the file to listen online or download it to your computer.  Be patient while it loads and there are a few minutes of silence at the beginning.)

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