I wrote the following blog on Tuesday after my morning trip down to visit my mom, but I didn't publish it. I was waiting until I went back in the afternoon with my sister Lois, and was then going to finish it and publish it. The Lord had other plans. Just a couple of hours after we returned home I received a phone call from the nurse at the home where mom was. She told me that after dinner she brought mom back to her room, mom said she wasn't feeling well, the nurse took her blood pressure, and mom died within a few minutes. We are so thankful that it was a quick death, and that mom was spared any more suffering and pain.
TUESDAY, JULY 15:
This morning as I stood in the doorway of the nursing home, the tears welled up in my eyes and streamed down my cheeks despite all my efforts to quell them. Mom lay peacefully sleeping, a welcome respite from the headaches that have begun to haunt her, and I didn't have the heart to awaken her. I just stood in that doorway and watched the rise and fall of her chest, much in the same way that I used to watch my babies sleep, and my heart overflowed with the love I feel for her. I wanted to kiss her forehead, tell her that I loved her, and tuck the pink and white afghan a little tighter around her shoulders, but I feared I'd awaken her and I wanted her to sleep a bit longer. Her brow was smooth, not wrinkled with the pain as it had been the past few days when we visited her and I didn't want to take the chance on returning her to that pain.
As I watched her sleep I felt the anger at that deadly cancerous brain tumor rising up from the bottom of my soul, and a sob caught in my throat. I needed to leave before my crying became uncontrollable as it so often does now. I hurried to my hot stuffy car in the parking lot where no one would see me as I once again lost it.
Oh mom, I still need you! I need to ask you how you made the vanilla pudding with the chocolate fluffy topping that I remember from my childhood. I want to get your advice on what kind of curtains I should put in the spare bedroom. I have to discuss the latest plans at church and get your feelings about them. I want to take you with us on vacation to the mountains again, and sit by the campfire and play Phase 10 or some other game. I want you like you used to be....I want my mother back!
I've had a cup of coffee and my tears have dried up. Soon I'll pick up Lois from work and we'll head back to the nursing home to see if you're awake. And I'll kiss your forehead, tell you I love you, and we'll watch the bird feeder outside your window in hopes that we'll see your favorite goldfinch. And maybe if you're having a good day, I can ask you about that recipe, or we can talk about the vacations we did take together.
I still am angry at that brain tumor, but I know that whatever happens, it is the exact perfect plan that God has for us, and all will be done according to His will. Your ways are not my ways, says the Lord.
SATURDAY, JULY 19: Lois and I did find mom awake on Tuesday afternoon. She was comfortable, no headache she said. She didn't speak much but her eyes followed our every move around the room as we cleaned out the dying flowers in the vase, straightened the pictures on the shelf, and chatted about nothing in particular. We pulled up the chairs close to her bed and held her hands as we told her we loved her and that everything was alright. We spied a brightly colored goldfinch outside her window at the feeder! She indicated that she was tired, and we told her it was fine if she went to sleep. We kissed her forehead, told her we loved her, and started to leave. Halfway across her room, as we always did, we turned and said "we love you" and Lois added, as she always did, "and Jesus loves you and He will never leave you."
A few short hours later, Jesus came to take her to heaven.