The End of the Journey, The Beginning of Eternity

It has been a while since I have updated my blog and I’m not sure why I have waited so long to update except that I deliberately postponed the story and journey concerning my mom.  The truth is, I needed some extended time to grieve.  My last update was September 22, 2020.  At that time we were starting mom’s cancer treatment and we thought we had a good plan and mom was going to spend the weekdays with Janette and me and the weekends at her home.  God had other plans for my mom and I must admit the days that followed were some of the most difficult of my life.  

Mom took a couple of chemo treatments and four radiation treatments and her body deteriorated rather quickly.  I can’t even remember what day it was, but on a Thursday evening, my mom could not get out of bed without our assistance and we got her to the bathroom and back to her bed and then I said, “mom we can’t keep on doing this”, and she gave me permission to call the Dr.  After talking to the doctor it was decided to call the ambulance and take her to the E.R.  That was the last time mom was able to get out of the bed.  Because of covid-19 restrictions I was in the E.R. with her for 26 hours.  No one else from my family was able to be with her.  They finally put her in ICU.  One of the doctors asked us if any one had ever told us how bad her heart was.  After a week of being in the hospital it was decided by her and the doctors that we would start hospice and get her home as soon as we could get there.  A snow and ice storm made our hospital stay a little longer than we wanted and covid-19 was starting to run rampant and the hospital really needed the bed.  

I am thankful for the nurses and personnel from the hospice group and we also hired another group of nurses to help us through the nights so Marla (my sister) and Janette, Ralph and I could get some rest.  Nonetheless, there were some very difficult times during hospice care but there were some very precious moments in mom’s fleeting last days on this earth.  

During the day and night mom would talk to people that were from the past or not present in the room.  She mentioned her siblings several times.  She spoke to granddad and grandma several times.   She would speak of dad and every now and then she would be coherent and talk to Marla and me.  One special moment for me is when mom looked at me and said, “every body should have a son like you.” One of my personalities flaws is that I like pleasing everyone and pleasing my mom was always on the priority list.  I am a momma’s boy and I am proud to admit that. 

There were some emotional spiritual moments in her rambling discourses.  In one moment she was talking to granddad, “Daddy…. You sure look happy over there.”  One can only imagine her seeing my granddad in glory.  One night she was babbling in indiscernible words and after the loud outburst of unknown tongues, she simply said, “Jesus, I love you too.”  There were other times where she would cry out for the Lord to please help her.  Or she would cry out for the Lord to make her humble.  It was obvious that mom was having several conversations with Jesus. 

Without a doubt, I would not be where I am today without my mom’s steady faithfulness and commitment to follow Jesus.  I am sure I would not have been a believer in Jesus without mom’s persistence that our family go to church and believe in Jesus Christ.    She was a physically and spiritually strong follower of Christ.  There were times where dad worked shift work and he could only go to church about twice a month.  But we would get up and go to church every Sunday.  She made sure that we heard the gospel truth be poured into my life.  

Mom was always worried that I would wander away from my faith and I know she would pray for me and she was always stern in her curfews even when I was in college and not living at home any more.  When I was a sophomore in college I was home one weekend and my friend Jimmy’s car broke down and I helped him get his car home by pushing his car with my car.  I got home at 12:15.  Mom was up waiting for me;  “Where have you been” was her first question.  Her second one was quiet disturbing for me.  “Have you been smoking that marijuana?”  It was the 70’s and that was a part of many college scenes.  The truth is I have never seen marijuana and I am not sure what it would even smell like.  For once in my life I had a good honest reason for being late.  I was helping a friend.  But, I am glad I had a mom who waited up for her son and showed me just how much she cared about me.  I think I still had a curfew even up to the last moments with my mom.  Did I mention she was a strong willed person?  

On Thanksgiving Day November 26, 2020, it was obvious that mom’s breathing had changed and she was not very coherent at all.  I called my sister and said you should get here soon because it appeared that her breathing was very shallow and difficult.  Finally at about 3:00 pm that afternoon mom breathed her last breath and entered in the Kingdom of God for eternity.  

Because of Covid-19 we decided to do a graveside service only.  We are grateful for the small group of family and friends that came to the service.  My nephew Josh did an amazing job singing and sharing the eulogy.  He has a special gift of using beautiful , articulate words and described mom’s life and character with impeccable accuracy and love. 

It has taken this long to write this update because I am still grieving and even now I find it difficult to write this blog.  I thought I would have one more Christmas with mom.  I am grateful that we had Thanksgiving together.  I am pleased to remember that mom died on Thanksgiving.  That may seem like an odd statement because so many people would say that it would be a sad holiday for the rest of our lives.  Maybe so, but Thanksgiving  has always been the favorite holiday for our family.  It was the time when we would spend that day with the extended family.  Christmas and other holidays were more of just a personal family time, but Thanksgiving was meant to be with as many family members as we could.  As a kid most of them were spent at our grandparents in Oklahoma.  As a young adult we spent many of them at Aunt Juanita’s and Uncle Olan’s.  As a middle-aged adult we would bring our family to Stinnett and had many a fun times playing 42 and watching the Dallas Cowboys.  My fondest memories of  our family have been at Thanksgiving.  So, I give God praise and thanks that mom went home to a wonderful thanksgiving reunion in glory.  In fact one of the things that mom said to me when she first went on hospice was, “there is going to be a great reunion in heaven real soon!”  What a Thanksgiving feast she enjoyed at the feet of Jesus being reunited with Dad and all of her family members.  

Mom stood at the kitchen window late one afternoon in August this past year.  She began to sing the song “What a Day That Will Be”.  

What a day that will be
When my Jesus I shall see
And I look upon his face
The one who saved me by his grace
When he takes me by the hand
And leads me through the Promised Land
What a day, glorious day that will be

There’ll be no sorrows there
No more burdens to bear
No more sickness and no more pain
No more parting over there
But forever I will be
With the one who died for me
What a day, glorious day that will be

What a day that will be
When my Jesus I shall see
When I look upon his face
The one who saved me by his grace 
When he takes me by the handAnd leads me through the Promised Land
What a day, glorious day that will be

When we have an unwavering faith, we have a undeniable hope and unshakeable promise of eternal life through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Today mom is rejoicing and celebrating that gift of grace through her savior.  

I can rest in the hands of God because He has told us not to be discouraged, not to fear for He is our God and He holds us in His righteous right hand.  In Him I find my strength and the source of encouragement.  

If you are reading this and you have never had a moment where you asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, I invite you to pray the prayer of salvation.  Ask Jesus to forgive you for your sin of unbelief.  Ask Him to come into your life.  Trust Him that He is the Son of God who died on the cross for our sin and was buried and rose again after three days in the tomb.  Trust that He has promised to return again someday in the future.  

For those who accept Christ, there is eternal life, for those who do not, there is eternal condemnation separated from God in eternity in a place called Hell.  Those are not my words; those words are straight from God’s word.   If mom could speak to us today, she would want all of us to know how wonderful heaven is and how great it is to be in presence of God.  

I love all of you, thank you for letting me express just a few of my feelings concerning the journey that I experienced with mom.

5 thoughts on “The End of the Journey, The Beginning of Eternity

  1. It will be 23 years this September when my mother left to be with Jesus and her parents. I think of her every single day and I miss her, however I would never want to take her from His presence and the joy unspeakable and pain-free life she is now living. This was a beautiful blog and know your mother would be very proud of you for writing it.

    Liked by 1 person

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