IT HAD REALLY BEEN A TOUGH WEEK WITH MY MOMMA.
Early in the week, I came in to the house to see a common sight in those days…my Momma sitting in her wheelchair at the dining room table with her hands covering her face. It’s almost like she was saying, “Can’t I just go now?”
When I came in from a church conference at four in the afternoon, she was sitting in the same place with her caregiver beside her. But when she took her hands away from her face, she looked like she’d been punched in the eye. In horror I searched the caregivers eyes for an answer, and she recounted how my mom has been rubbing her eyes, and under her eyes, almost all day long. And that was enough to bruise the area underneath her eye.
Her caregiver went on to tell me that this was the first day in 6 years that my Momma didn’t call her by her name…and that she could see the end was coming soon.
As if that wasn’t enough, that evening, after returning from an amazing service at church, I was having a light hearted conversation with a friend and the topic got around to my Momma. I had to explain that the reason she has no teeth is because she’d lost so much weight that her dentures didn’t fit anymore, so she quit wearing them. I also confessed how, over that last week, she had almost completely lost her appetite, so her face was looking very gaunt … she just seemed to be wasting away to nothing. I explained that she was “winding down” so it was to be expected. When my friend replied, “That must be really hard on you” I pretty much blew it off…thinking I’m doing great. I thought I was handling the “hospice” situation I found myself in just fine.
It didn’t take long for me to figure out how wrong I was. As I went in to her room to change her diaper that night, it really hit me full force. I had to not only change her diaper but also her wet pajama top. As I took off the old top to help her put on the new, I thought I was looking at a picture of a holocaust survivor…she is literally skin and bones. It completely took my breath away. As I helped her get her arms into the sleeves, I held back the tears. When I finished, and pulled the blankets up under her chin, gave her a kiss and told her I loved her, she was silent.
I’d known this was coming for a while, but I guess I just didn’t think it would happen quite that fast. I thought it still could be weeks or months…but it seemed as though the window of time over Christmas was the timing of the Lord for the three of us to bond and rejoice together. Now, we seemed to be moving into a new season.
Have you had a similar experience?
How did you feel when you realized the end was soon to come?
Did you feel any regrets?
Thanks for visiting my blog. In case you don’t know my story, I had the honor of spending the last four months of my momma’s life helping my brother, Jim, care for her, down in San Antonio, Texas. It was a healing time for me after losing everything in a 12 year detour into deception, and a defining moment in my life that would prove to sweep me into a whirlwind of redemption that would include radio ministry, returning to Washington State to launch a new publishing company, and becoming a pastor’s wife.