Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Seven Years Ago Today

I couldn't help but think of my mother yesterday. It was seven years ago to the day that she passed away during the wee hours of the 25th/26th of June 2005 (technically she passed away on the 26th, but the sudden illness had come upon her during the late hours of the 25th).

Yesterday was an extremely hot day...much like that day had been...and I remember talking to my mother in the afternoon and she commented several times that the heat was killing her...which that wasn't unusual...extreme heat had always bothered her.

Mom and I had a good phone conversation that afternoon. A friend of mine had surprised me with a teacher's guide and student copy of one of her own recent home education curriculum finds (Considering God's Creation) and she had hung them in a plastic bag on my backdoor. John and I had discovered them after returning home from an outing and, after I looked through it, I was so excited about it that I called my mother. We talked on the phone about that curriculum (and other things) for over two hours that afternoon. We had a real visit, which, even though we just lived across town from one another, we rarely did. It was usually little more just chit-chat in passing or short clips of conversation on the phone throughout the week, rather than anything substantial. Like I said, we had a real visit that day! The only complaint at all that day was that she kept commenting about that heat and, for her, that wasn't unusual at all.

Well, that night I had just gone to bed. It was around 10:30 at night...and, understand, I had a cousin, who's wife was due to have a baby anytime, a daughter who was pregnant and due to her a baby anytime, and two daughters-in-law that were both pregnant...one of them overdue. Our family was expecting four babies all at once...three of them due at any moment! I had no more laid down and the phone rang! I was so excited! As I was hopping out of bed I shouted, "Uh-oh! Someone's in labor!!!" Oh, my! How true that was! But it was none of the girls that were about to give birth. :(

Instead, to my surprise, it was my dad's voice that greeted me on the other end of the phone...and it didn't sound good. He said, "Your mom's got a problem and you need to get over here." I told him to call 9-1-1 and I'd be there as quickly as I could...which, in reality was just a few minutes, but it seemed like it took forever.

When I arrived, yes, it was obvious that mother was having a problem. I won't go into all the horrid details, but my mother was obviously having a hard time getting a breath. She had suffered a major heart attack and I knew that it wasn't good. I knew in my heart then that she probably wasn't going to make it. I kept telling her, "Hold on, Mother! Just hold on!" And she whispered, "I'm trying."

The first responder got there with oxygen, but it didn't help. The ambulance finally got there (they had been working two accidents elsewhere), loaded my mother up, and went whizzing away into the night, sirens blaring, with us following behind. We got about seven minutes outside of town and I saw the ambulance's taillights flash as it slowed down, drove slower for a few moments, then sped up again. I knew there was a struggle going on inside.

Next, we spotted helicopter lights. My dad said, "I wonder what that helicopter's doing?" The whole time my throat was dry. So dry! I knew it was over, and I could barely speak. I said, "Dad, that's Life Flight. They're coming for Mom, but, Dad? This isn't good. You know that don't you? Dad, I think it's too late." In my heart I knew that my mother was already gone. I could feel it.

And it was mixed. For her...I felt happy! After decades of faithful service to her Lord and Saviour I had no doubt where my mother was headed. She was preparing to...or, perhaps, at that point...had already met Jesus face-to-face! What a joyous occasion!

But for my dad and I? And my children? What about these three, new, little granddaughters that were about to be born? What about all of us? What would we do without my mother? I didn't know. And I was scared. Very, very, terribly scared. More scared than I had ever been in my whole life!

In those quite moments...while I was driving...and while I knew my mother was struggling...hanging between life and death...I prayed...silently...feverishly. I prayed for my mother...that if she was struggling...or scared...or hurting...that whatever she was going through...if she wasn't going to make it...to, please, Lord...make it quick for her...and to be there for her...to help her in her greatest hour of need...to help her over the threshold from this life into the one eternal...and to let her know that somehow we would be okay without her. Comfort her, Lord!

I prayed for my dad. What would he do without her? I mean...this was a man who can't make a sandwich by himself! Or pour himself a cup of coffee! Or...or...do anything without Mom doing it for him! (Or so I thought at the time!)

My dad has astounded me with how much he can do! And, I have to say, if Dad had gone first...before Mom...I would never have known what a rich, wonderful man my dad really is. And, by Mom going first, it has pushed my dad off a fence and forced him to make his own decision and stand for Christ. And, let me tell you...my Dad is amazing! I'm so proud of him! He's not perfect, but he is a man of principle and character that I would not have known had God, in His infinite wisdom, not allowed things to happen the way they did. And, for that, I am truly thankful!

Anyway...long story short...the whole family gathered at the hospital. We all arrived even before the helicopter. My gut told me that it was over and it was. When the helicopter arrived they unloaded my the shell of what had, at one time, held my mother's spirit. She was with Jesus and she hadn't struggled long. Another thing for which I am truly thankful.

The days following were little more than a blur. I remember bits and pieces, but not a whole lot. I was out working in the shed the other day and came across a box of stuff...the book and notices from the funeral home, sympathy cards and letters that had been sent to me at that time, etc...and, for the first time, I read them. I read them and I cried! What beautiful testimonies I read from different ones as to how my mother had touched their lives...how she had witnessed to them for Christ or had ministered to them in their hour of need...and I realized how truly blessed I was to have her as my mom! This was the woman who had raised me! This was the example that she had set forth in life and the legacy that she left to me in death. And, oh! How blessed I realize I truly am to have been raised by such a woman!

Mom, you may be gone, but you are not, nor will you ever be, forgotten. The lessons you taught me? The examples that you set forth in faith and frugality? I may be a slow learner, but I'm getting there...one teeny, tiny, little step at a time. I only hope that when my time comes, I, too, will be found to be such a faithful witness to the One that bore the Cross for me, as you have been. God bless you, Mom! I love and miss you so much!@);-

Your Loving Daughter,
~Rebecca

6/26/12


8 comments:

  1. Thst is so well put, makes me cry. I often think of that night we were at Roaring River camping, Cassville police came and found us....I'm sorry we weren't there snd I never could figure out why this happened while we were gone, til one day it finally hit me Rudy was an EMT his pager would have called him out and he would of been the one working on Granny, he never would of forgave himself for not being able to save her.I really miss her but am happy for her that she is not going through the trials we have right now. I'm so thankful Heather (Granny's ladybug) was old enough to remember her.
    someday soon we will see her again and I can't wait. Love you.

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  2. Yes, I know. It was strange. Rudy was an EMT and Amanda was considering going into nursing at that time. Mom always said, "If anything ever happens to me, I DO NOT want Rudy or Amanda in that ambulance with me." It's like she knew that that's how it would happen. Amanda decided to stick with the park rather than go into nursing, but, yes, Rudy would have had to responded to a call out had he been in town. God knew what He was doing. You guys being at Roaring River at the time was, in part, an answer to her prayer. Rudy wasn't there because he couldn't be there. And, yes, Heather was the only one of the great-grands that Mom ever saw and, yes, she's was definitely Great-grandma's "ladybug". I, too, am thankful that Mom's not having to go through all this, too, and, like you, I cannot wait to see her again! Maranantha!

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  3. beautifully put rebecca....brought tears to my eyes made me feel like i knew her too.......im sure she was a super lady because afterall she raised one super kind sweet careing loving daughter named rebecca.luv ya lady.may god bless you

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  4. What a beautiful tribute to your mom.

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  5. Thanks for stopping in, Kristy! And thank you for your kind comment. Have a blessed day! <3

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  6. It's been 13 years this July for me. I still miss mom. My heart goes out to you.

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  7. I've got a feeling that it's something you never get over. God bless you, Laura! <3

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