Revelation 21:4: He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
My mom passed away at the beginning of the week, so this has been a difficult week for my family. We knew that mom was not doing well and that she was very tired, but it was still very difficult when God decided to call her home. She is in heaven today and she is seeing God’s glory, something that I certainly can’t begin to comprehend.
When I left her on Monday night, I feared that she would not be with us much longer. At about 1am I received a phone call from her nurse informing me that her condition has worsened. About ten minutes later, the nurse called back telling me that my mom was asking for me. I began the hour drive to Baldwin, praying to God to not take my mom before I could say goodbye.
I arrived just after 2am and a nurse was holding mom’s hand. She told me that she had promised my mom that she would hold her hand until I arrived. I took my mom by the hand and told her that I was there. She said, “Do you know what’s going on?” I told her that I did and I asked her if she knew what was happening. She said that she did and that she was ok.
Mom was strong on this morning, just as she had been through her four months of suffering. She hung on because we continued to stay by her bed, we did not want to leave her. I made the decision to bring in hospice around 11am and my aunt and I were encouraged to go in and say our goodbyes and to tell her that it was ok to let go. We did and that was a very difficult thing to do, we wanted her suffering to end but we didn’t want to see her go.
Her nieces and some friends came by throughout the day to say their goodbyes and to be there with my mom. One of her nieces was there and she told many stories about growing up around my mom, and that allowed each of us to share in a little laughter. Many of the staff members that worked there also came by throughout the day to say their goodbyes.
Several members of the family decided to leave the room for a while and it was just myself, my wife Lynn, my daughter Maria, my aunt Mozelle, and my mom’s niece, Karen. It was around 7pm and we noticed that her breathing pattern had changed. She was breathing more shallow breaths and the time between breaths began to lengthen. We noticed that the time between breaths increased from 20 seconds, to 30 seconds and then to one minute between breaths. At around 7:20pm we noticed that she had stopped breathing. Her niece Karen went out to get the nurse and we knew that the Lord had taken mom home. The nurse came in and told us that she had passed.
We stayed by her bed for the next hour, crying and yet thankful to God for allowing her pain and suffering to come to an end. All of the family that had been there throughout the afternoon came back in and I led us in a prayer as we said goodbye to mom.
As believers in Christ however, we know that this is not a permanent goodbye. We will see mom again one day in heaven. For now, I can imagine her walking the streets of heaven and singing and praising God along with the heavenly choir. Mom had not walked in four months but her new heavenly body is a new creation in Christ, her feeble earthly body has returned to the earth. She is no longer bound by the health conditions that plagued her while she was on this earth. Her new heavenly body will never experience the sickness, diseases, and illness that her earthly body endured.
I was the last one to speak over my mom in her funeral service, and I am so glad that I did. I was able to tell about her life and the things in her life that were important to her. Those things were her church, her family, and her encouraging attitude. My mom was a wonderful Christian woman and she was a strong woman in her faith and in her many health battles. She will be greatly missed but I am so thankful that God decided to call her home and end her suffering. I know that this is only a temporary goodbye, that I will walk the streets of heaven with her one day.