How do I say it? What do I even say? If I don’t say anything for awhile, then I don’t have to acknowledge it, which I think will make me feel better. I’m not sure.
On the late afternoon of Monday, December 7th, my Dad called three times in a row. It was strange, but neither my dad nor my mom left messages. I had been sick for a couple of weeks and had now completely lost my voice, so I texted him that I had no voice. I’d been texting earlier with my mom, and she knew this.
My dad texted back.
“Mom has gone with the Lord. I am sorry for you, for me, and especially for Samuel.”
(Samuel is my brother who has been living in a home with kids with special needs for the last several years.)
It has been hard. I know that we don’t grieve without hope, but we do deeply grieve. The Christian’s life on earth is only a preface for the true life that’s eternal in paradise. It wasn’t that my mom got cut off from a ‘good life’, nor was she taken unfairly compared to others who maybe should have gone before. She didn’t miss out on the grandchildren growing up. She didn’t get taken too soon. My mom is in glory forever doing what she was made to do – worship. The sole purpose for which we are called and created is to bring God the most glory. She has already reached the eternal rest where she adores Him with a pure heart and a pure mind – sinless.
I immediately called my dad when I read the first sentence of his text. At first hearing the news, I could only say, “No, no, no. It can’t be. It can’t be.” She had texted me just an hour or so before. My dad called after the paramedics had worked on her for a half an hour. She had a massive heart attack. Resting on the sofa with my dad next to her, she said that she thought she felt lightheaded. He took her blood pressure, and she wrote it down. It was the same as it had been in the previous weeks, so they weren’t alarmed. Then she said, “I’m dizzy.”
She was gone.
I can’t ever remember sobbing so painfully. “Be merciful to us. Make the path straight for dad. Provide the comfort to our souls as only you can. Your Almighty power alone can care for Samuel. Please, Father. You are good.” Prayer after prayer of supplication were my only thoughts.
Nathan looked for tickets for us the rest of the night, and although COVID made for a cumbersome trip, we were able to go to Spain. Alexander, Eva, and I arrived in time to see my mom at the funeral home. Oh how very grateful I am for this opportunity! Nothing ached more than the thought of not making it in time. I just wanted to see my mom.
As the weeks passed, I’ve had the strongest feeling that I am changed. Especially when driving to church or Nathan’s parent’s house, “Will they know I’m different? Could they tell?” As a good friend who has walked the journey of grief confirmed when I shared this with her, “Yes. Fundamentally changed.”
It hasn’t been so long yet, that I still think I could call her sometimes. “Today is not a busy day. I should call…” Or, after I take a picture of the kids, I quickly say, “I’m going to send it to yaya…” Then it stings again, first in my chest then in my eyes.
I am very thankful for His goodness. The Lord has been my comfort through the day, everyday. I perceive it and am overwhelmed by His mercies. Some days, I sense that I’m beginning to understand what has happened. I think I get it, and I’m going to be okay. The next day, it feels as if my dad has just told me. My brain is in a fog, and I am sorely sad. But God is my refuge in time of trouble. He is very near.
She is with her Savior. She is with her Lord.
"Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts! Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord! For he commanded and they were created. And he established them forever and ever; he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away. Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven. He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the Lord!" - Psalm 148