Mother celebrated her last birthday by staring over and over again at the huge stack of cards on her table. I wondered if she recognized any of the names. Or did she realize it was her 90th birthday? I took comfort in watching her smile as she carefully handled each one, knowing they brought blessing and pleasure to her for the moment.
Soon, too soon, she would again be taken to ICU and from there to a skilled nursing facility. Having the positive assurance of heaven made our expected parting so much easier. This reassurance was repeated several times before she actually went home. “Mommy, I’ll keep you forever if you want me to; but, I’ll let you go be with Jesus when you are ready.”
Holding her hands in ICU, I would sing old familiar hymns to her. Although she had not been able to verbally communicate in months, a few stanzas of “Rock of Ages” would spur her to “hum” along with me. Her hums and my singing left much to be desired to the outside world but I knew in my heart that our Father in heaven was honored and my precious mother was comforted. Amazingly, this girl that never sings in public could not have cared less who heard our duet.
Days later, in the skilled care nursing home, I caress her tiny, cold hand and recall all the work those hands have done in ninety years; good work and honorable. I think of all the care she’s given to others. I think how much those who didn’t get to know her have missed. I want her to go on home, but I miss her so much already.
At 6:40 God answered my prayer and Mother peacefully went to sleep. No more pain. I was blessed to be there holding her hand and singing to her: “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.” Thank you, Jesus.
My prayer for you today is that those in your care are ready to go home; that they know Jesus personally. I pray that you have that assurance for yourself. What joy to know where Mother is; I look forward to seeing her again someday.
Today’s article is from pages in my book, MY MOTHER MY CHILD, and available through my store .
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