My family tells me I'm a worrier. They inform me that I always think the worst about what can happen. I can't help it, I get it honest! I still remember being a teenager and my mother giving me grave warning about 'what could happen' in almost every circumstnace of life!! Now that I am a mother the preferred explanation is to help them to 'be prepared'.
As a Christian, I understand about faith, trusting in the Lord and knowing that He is ultimately in control. Age and maturity have taught me that most of the time what we worry the most about never happens, but it is the little things that sneak up on us is what we are unprepared for.
I've debated about writing this post for 7 years now, as it is a sad post, but as each year passes, the continual glimpses of God's grace through it all is something I want to cherish in writing.
March 2007 found us preparing for my husband's neck surgery on a Thursday. The Saturday before, my mother became ill. Early Sunday morning she went by ambulance to the hosptial diagnosed with first pneunomia, then a blood clot in her lung. She was transferred to a hospital an hour and a half away from home. Through the week she continued to decline with infection in her blood and host of other problems.
Thursday came and my husband and I headed one hour in the oppostie direction for his surgery. While seeing him off to the operating room and getting on the elevator, the call came that they would have to put my mother on a respirator. Hubby came through surgery fine and while in the recovery room waiting for a regular room (8 hours later!), another call came in that mom's hands were turning blue, she may be having a heart attack. Talk about stress....and worry...in the midst of these days, many prayers were felt as God's strength carried me along with the encouragement of pastors in the waiting room and a very special phone prayer from my sister in law.
Friday got us home and on the road to recovery. Saturday was back to mom and a conference with the doctor. We had been in touch all week, but mom was getting worse. Septic shock had set it, emphysema, infection and now her kidneys were shutting down. She was on life support and in an induced coma. They had done all they could do and needed a decision from the family about whether to remove life support. Only those who have walked in the valley of the shadow of death understand about the intense struggle to keep the loved one here with us while realizing they would not want to stay in this condition. The pain of releasing them to go while knowing this is a moment you have dreaded all of your life - losing them. The family knew she would never want to live in that condition and made the decision to remove life support. She quickly passed peacefully away. The day had come - the day I"ve dreaded all my life - losing Mom.
Looking back at the whirlwind of a week, God sent so many blessings to uphold us. From church family who prayed, called, sent food, cards and visits to family who gave so freely of their time to drive the long drive to the hosptial several times. In the midst of sorrow, God always provided just what was needed.
There will have to be a part two to this, because God worked so mightily in the following week. But as I write this on the 8th anniversary of Mom's death, a friend shared that she had recently been to a funeral of a friend's mother and it was stated "this is the day I have dreaded all my life", no truer words have been spoken. A mother holds such a special place in our hearts and to try to imagine life without her is almost impossible. But although there is no way to prepare for such sorrow, pain or loss, Christians have a Heavenly Father who is a God of compassion and mercy. There is no limit to the comfort He gives. He is beside us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. He gives strength to face uncertain days, He gives hope that we can continue on despite our pain. He matches grief with grace. He takes the day that has been dreaded all of our life and reveals Himself in ways we have never seen before.