The end and the beginning

The end and the beginning September 24, 2007

My sister Jodi returned here to south Florida on Saturday, September 22. She was going to stay with my mom, and I was planning to return home for a bit before coming back here to take another turn hanging out with my mom. Within a short time after Jodi came into the house, my mom lapsed into a final coma, and died at 2:10 p.m. (Here’s the link to her obit.)

Those last hours were remarkable. After the reality of what was happening to my mom set in with my sister and I, I began reading Scripture aloud: Psalm 23, 27, 103, 139, John 3:1-18, Luke 15. I prayed for her, and sang to her. Jodi and I told my mom (again and again) we loved her, and we watched together as she took her last breath. The presence of God was very strong – I never would have imagined it could have been like this for my mom.

But it was. I believe this is because she experienced reconciliation with God in Christ. Though she was too gripped with pain to speak about it, it felt very clear to me that something radical had changed in her soul.

A month ago, when I got the initial phone call from my mom to tell me that “it might be cancer”, I never would have imagined it would have ended this way, this quickly. For most of my life, I never could have dreamed that my mom would find her peace in Jesus. But she did – I watched in awe as the Holy Spirit drew her through the patient, insistent witness of her hospice nurses and through some conversations and prayer times with me.

Throughout our lives, my sister and I experienced a kind of walled-off distance from our mom. We grew used to it. The last month really changed all of that for me. Participating in her death was actually a gift of healing in my life. And the thought that she is finally free and whole and enjoying the kind of life forever NOW that I can scarcely comprehend has taken the sting out of her intense, difficult death.

Thank you for your prayers…

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