There is in no way possible to tell you about my Mom in words. She lived the “Fruit of the Spirit”.
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
What I can tell you is about the end, because I think it’s representative, in a sense, to the the life she lived, and what was to come…
The last few days of her life, it seemed the difference between night and day became skewed for her. My Father, who is the super hero in this story, was awake all day, and then almost all night with her. As things progressed, I decided to spend the night with her to help him sleep. I had been there during the day too for a bit, but I knew my Father needed sleep. I’d arrive around 7pm or so, and he would sleep until around 2 or 3am. The time me and my Mom spent together for those few nights were all together painful as her Son, but joyous as a believer.
At this time (2-3 days before she passed) she was semi-conscience. She was able to recognize I was with her, but every moment was only a moment. The next was different. So, long conversation wasn’t something we would be able to have.
As I pulled out my guitar and sang worship music, she remembered lyrics and would sing them with a smile on her face. I then found her “newest” Bible and looked to find scripture that was highlighted. There were things that she had either studied most recently, or somehow seemed most important at the time of reading. I would read her these to her with great excitement, and she would smile, and she would finish the verses out loud. We read “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere” from Psalm 84:10, and this was a chorus from a song I knew from memory, so I grabbed my guitar and we sang that chorus: “Better is one day in your courts, better is one day in your house. Better is one day in your courts, than thousands elsewhere, than thousands elsewhere.” These times made my heart skip a beat.
This was 2 nights before she passed. At moments she stopped, and stared at nothing. I saw a face that’s hard to describe. I can only describe it as if she was overwhelmed at what she was seeing. Her eyes opened big, and she would just stop. At first, as a Son, this is a little scary, but hours on hours of seeing this, I had to ask her, “Mom, what do you see?” At first she had no answer. I don’t think she even knew what I was asking, but then out of the blue, she said to me, “I see Angels”.
At this point I was overwhelmed and cried a bit. I didn’t cry from fear, but just a type of joy, because I knew this was good. We would sit and say, “good good good” together. This was my way of battling her on-going, “oh boy oh boy oh boy” that she would constantly begin to say.
Then, without any provoking, many moments later, she told me, “I see sketches of Angels”. To me, it seemed she was speaking as if they were far away at the moment. She said this 2 or 3 times.
Then later she said, “I see 3 Angels. One for each of my children.”
I couldn’t respond. All I could say was, “Good good good”. I later told her they were going to come and scoop her away. She looked at me with excitement. “Scoop!?” She said. Then she smiled very big. I had to catch the smile on a photo, because it brought me the most peace during this time. This photo was taken late that same night, during that time.
Only 2 days later, when I came to see her, I could tell that this couldn’t last much longer. I tried to make her comfortable but it seemed impossible. She was in pain. I didn’t know what to do. I just held her hand.
She stopped and looked at me and said, “They’re coming.” I knew what she was talking about immediately. The eye contact, and squeezing of my hand gave me the message. Those sketches are becoming more clear. After seeing her in pain that day, and being awake for days, I knew it was time. Everything she asked for, or needed was taken care of. Her family was all near, most at her bed side at that moment.
Lacking days of sleep, I was so tired, I needed to lay in the room next to her. During that time my heart was beating so fast. I was thinking, “Is someone going to come and tell me she’s gone any minute? Am I going to miss it just to take a nap?” I knew deep down the time was near. I felt her exhaustion.
Not long after, my Girlfriend and Sister came to me and said I should come. It was immediate to me that it was happening. We all sat by her bed. My Father, My Sister, My Girlfriend and I. Even Tucker, her dog, was nestled by her side, along with my own dog, who sat and watched us in silence as we all just patiently waited. Her breathing became slower and slower. We said goodbye and I had the chance to look at her in the eyes one more time and tell her, “it’s okay.”
She passed at 5pm that day.
To hear her words throughout the nights we were together, alone, and then to get this special message, “they’re here” from her at the very end, is very special to me.
There is no way to explain how I feel today, the day after. Again, these typed words don’t come close. This was the last experiences I had with my Mom. I could write a book about everything before. We all could.
I know she’s smiling, happy and peaceful now and the night after I was finally able to sleep, without fear anymore, knowing that smile is now eternal.
Thank you Mom. I will forever miss you, but the sound of your laughter continually fills me when I become sad.
The moments I was afraid, you comforted me unlike anyone else. Any anxiety, fear, confusion, frustration would instantly wash away when I would sit next to you at home (many times crocheting) and we would talk. You listened. You cared, and always made me feel loved. You reminded me to be strong, but at the same time to be gentle. You were the sunshine in my life.