My mother is dying. (We are from the first breath but by
this I mean soon.) Mom is now receiving Hospice care at Carillon Assisted
Living and Garden Place memory care. I pray this is good especially with me
going to Kiawah for a week. I also pray that she doesn’t pass while I’m gone.
I’m glad we have this opportunity. This will be good for me going into this
last journey with mom. I may get the pre-respite I need for the long haul.
Hospice comes in when the person seems to be within 6 months of death. I know
this is inevitable. I’ve known it for some time. As I read the Hospice booklet
of grief and the end, I now know that some of the things I’ve noticed were not
imaginary. When she stares into space she may be seeing a glimpse of heaven,
loved ones already there or the proverbial “white light.” I also know that some
of her pained looks are the pains of the body shutting down. Her tears are
sadness over uncertainty and leaving this world. The smiles are glimpses of the
joys still found in this life and the beauty of heaven above.
Some may wonder why I did not cancel my trip. Well, only God
knows when her last day will be. I do need to find some peace that can carry
over to the end. I have also had so much pain and trouble and fear and anger
over the past eight years caring for Dad and Mom. God knows what was, what is
coming, and what will be. I trust that God. His grace is a gift I have received
many times over. His mercy is fresh every day. His love is constant.
Mom has had a long life. She has had many wonderful
blessings: a loving family (mother and father), two sisters and three brothers,
a loving husband for nearly sixty years who preceded her in death, a daughter
who cared for her well-being and happiness, and a grandson who adored her and
numerous friends who wanted to be close. She worked hard in textiles to care
for her family and put her daughter through college. Music was her other great
love. She played by ear most of her life but took lessons in later years. She
worked in her garden, rooting roses even. She received her high school diploma
the same year she retired, a life-long goal.
A faithful believer, she prayed and recited the 23rd
Psalm daily. She taught Sunday school and sang in choirs. She attended women’s
ministries. She supported her family with Christian teaching and advice. She
was a listener, encourager, and adviser to many. When the light that is a
mother dims, the daughter’s dims as well.