On the night my mother died, I lay in bed and wept—not so much
in grief, but in thanks for all the marvelous gifts she had given to enrich
and sustain my life. Mom planted many beautiful seeds in me—
seeds for which I am and will be eternally grateful. But of all the
gifts she gave and all the seeds she planted, I believe her love for
reading in general, and for reading God’s Word in specific, were by
far the best.
We had celebrated Kathryn Marie’s seventy-sixth birthday in the
hospital with cupcakes the day after she broke her hip. We blessed
her and prayed with her when she decided to have the surgery,
knowing her frail body might not survive, but knowing that spending
the rest of her life in bed wasn’t what she wanted either.
We laughed when, prior to the operation, the doctor asked, “Do
you want us to attempt any extraordinary measures if something
should happen during surgery and your heart should stop?” When
Mom asked what the doctor meant, he said, “Do you want us to
pound on your chest?” She thought for a moment, scratched her chin
and replied, “Oh, maybe just a little. But don’t go to any trouble.”
Mom always had such a great sense of perspective. And humor.
And direction. And faith. She knew where she was going. If she lived,
she lived to the Lord, and if she died, she died to the Lord. As far as
she was concerned, whether she lived or whether she died, she would
be just fine.
We kissed, cried and prayed when Mom went into surgery. We
cried and prayed again when she came out of the operating room
wearing a full-faced oxygen mask but didn’t wake up. We waited and
prayed and hoped against hope as her kidneys began to shut down.
We pleaded with her to open her eyes and say her goodbyes when her
grandchildren came into the room. We held our breath when her
eyes fluttered open one last time to see them, and we thought we
sensed a faint smile on her parched lips.
Then, one week and a day from her sterile cupcaked birthday
party, we said our goodbyes and stood at the bedside as they took
her off life support.
Download On the Night My Mother Died
from the book "Holding Your Family Together"