“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …”
As I contemplated writing this piece, I was reminded of the famous opening line in the classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities.
Please bear with me as I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and attempt to express the stirrings of my heart. While difficult to write, write I must!
In my last post, I wrote about me and my husband’s recent return from a wonderful, much-needed vacation on a cruise with a couple of friends. Because neither one of us cared about adding the extra fee for internet usage, we opted out and enjoyed our getaway. As we neared the Port of Galveston upon our return, we were inundated with unexpected text messages and several missed calls.
Shockingly, I learned that my 79-year-old stepmother–who had always been like a mother to me–was hospitalized and in ICU. My sister stayed with her rarely leaving her side, her “labor of love,” as she so well put it. After suffering from a bout of excruciating pain, my stepmother had to have emergency surgery due to a small bowel obstruction.
A series of complications and alarming close calls left my family in panic, bombarding Heaven with their prayers. Three weeks later, thankfully, my stepmother was released from the hospital. She continues recuperating at home, working on gaining her strength and some weight back.
My sister continues to care for her and our dad in Florida, and she is doing an extraordinary job, indeed a labor of love!
Ironically enough, while we were on our cruise, our friend’s own dear 90-year-old mother was admitted into hospice. She had suffered a stroke, which soon led to another. The day we returned, our friend flew back to her hometown in Kentucky to be near her mother’s bedside. Needless to say, our hearts were heavy.
With permission, I share the words written by my friend’s sister, regarding their mother:
Mom isn’t doing too good she has had another stroke.
Hospice said it could be anytime she would be joining Dad.
She can’t talk, eat, drink, or move.
She is trapped in that old broken down body which seems such a horrible place to be!
I still love her so much.
I can’t stand to see her in such a way.
Part of me wants her to pass so she can escape that horrible prison;
But to escape she has to leave me physically.
Mom has been gone for over 2 yrs mentally,
But her body has remained.
But when I think of her passing …
I shudder to think about me!
So many mixed emotions are going through me at this time:
I feel guilty for wanting her to go, But selfish for wanting her to stay.
I know it is in Lord’s hands. I do not make that decision; the Lord will make it.
I imagine my Dad has been begging and pleading with the Lord since he got into heaven to bring her home!
I know Dad is getting everything ready for her arrival …
Our family can use some prayers!
Less than a week later, their precious mother passed away …
Many times, situations seem so out of control, and we are left feeling helpless. Even if one clings to their faith in God, and tries to prepare for the inevitable regarding elderly parents, the heartache and sadness of that lost loved one still crushes you and leaves a hole in your heart. But don’t despair! We are reminded in Psalms 34:18: “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.”
And wouldn’t you know the very day our friend’s mother passed, we celebrated my own mama’s 85th birthday!
The pendulum swings in the momentum of life.
Although Mama is not in the best of health, I am grateful to God that we are able to celebrate her life and bring her joy.
She’s had a hard life, which I shared in my memoir. We both have. But God has turned our mess into a message.
I feel blessed knowing that I can bring Mama some joy surrounded by family.
My husband, children, and their spouses helped to make her day special, as we showered her with gifts at one of her favorite restaurants.
While I have made no bones about our complicated mother-daughter relationship, those obstacles have never diminished my love for her.
The bottom line is We. Love. Our. Mothers. And we desire to honor them.
I pray the Lord to grant us the strength to relinquish them into His hands when that time comes for us all. May this blog post bring perfect peace and be a tribute to all our mothers.
We love you, Gloria Esther Perez.
We love you, Edna Tinsley Canter.
We love you, Ruth Ann Mendez.
Mother’s love is something that no one can explain, it is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain, it is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may. For nothing can destroy it or take that love away.”
~ Hellen Steiner Rice
“It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”