Saturday, November 2, 2013

Losing Mom

A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it comes.  

(Mark Twain)

I've often pondered this quote in joyful times, things hoped for, prayed for, waited for. But on this afternoon , as I was preparing to write a post on my Obsession of Pumpkins, I realized it also speaks of things that are difficult, dreaded, painfully expected.

I received the call yesterday that my sweet Mother was very quickly fading. Something I have indeed prayed for, hoped for...and so has she.

After suffering a massive stroke at the age of 49, she has endured 33 of her 82 years in a wheelchair. Most of those years in assisted living, many in Nursing homes.
I tried to help her, make her happy, find peace, but I could not save her from the waves of anger, sorrow and frustration, the physical and mental disabilities, the understandable spiral into depression.

So she endured. For thirty three years.
Yes I prayed for her release. I asked the Lord many times.."Why must she linger? Why cant you take her home? Why did this happen to her? Why..Why..WHY?

The clock ticks away the rainy October afternoon, and I am comforted by the company of my visiting daughter and grandchildren.
Mom lies in a bed in a nursing home, in another state, slipping away under a veil of morphine. I want to crawl in bed with her and hold her. Tell her how much I love her, that very soon she will be free.

At 6:17, I receive the call. She has taken her last breath, she is gone.

The thing long expected has come.

The pain that drops me to the bathroom floor is the "unexpected."

I cry loud and hard and long. The patches I have stitched over the hole of "Mama" in my heart over all the years, unravel. I have missed her for so long.
But gone...Gone is different.

I have grieved for years at not having her healthy and happy....but that was selfish grief. Not having her to have lunch with, or laugh with, or tell all her friends how cute my kids are... paint a bedroom, can tomato's or go on a road trip. But I realize this fresh grief is for all that SHE  missed. Simple gifts most of us take for granted.
Raking leaves, riding a horse, stuffing a turkey, planting bulbs, having your kids over for dinner, babysitting your grand kids.

Legs and Arms that do what they are supposed to. Hug and wave, and dance.

I remember the last time I was with my Mom in August. It was hot, but I put on her big floppy hat and pushed her down the street to the park.

There was some kind of a festival going on. Music, little girls twirling, sweaty little boys hanging from trees. People just enjoying life. She watched from under the brim of her hat, and she smiled.
I bought her a milkshake and fed it to her with a spoon so she wouldn't choke. I took her back inside, kissed her and held her hand. I told her how much I loved her and that if I had all the Moms in the world to choose from...I would still choose her. She smiled. I said ;"See you later Mom, be good!" Walked down the hall, out the door, got in my car and drove away with a heavy heart.
 Just like always.

The morning after I received the "expected call", beautiful flowers arrived on my doorstep, reminding me of hope, and love, and life, and the life Jesus promises us in heaven. Much more beautiful than these fragrant roses! Where we will shed no more tears, and receive new bodies!
 My Mamas broken little body got replaced with a NEW one! I close my eyes now, and hope to hang on to a new vision of her...NOT in that wheelchair..NOT "resting in peace"... but dancing!! With her arms over her head , laughter escaping her smile, and those beautiful brown eyes reflecting the radiance of the One on the Throne of Grace, who has brought His child home.
You keep dancing Mama, I will meet you there someday

Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalms 30:5

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