John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (KJV)
Many of you, my gentle readers, know my mother has been battling lung cancer since mid-February 2006. You have been most faithful in your prayers for her and my family. You have cheered her on, given her hope, brought her smiles and warmed her heart. Please accept my and my family’s heart-felt thanks.
Today mom is being moved to hospice care. Her condition has deteriorated rapidly in the last seven days. She is in the end stages. She is journeying the last days this side of Eternity.
Death is ugly. Death is hard. There are just no two ways about it. Through the fog of morphine and sedatives the words are gasped out with less and less strength, “I did not think it would be this hard.” As the disease permeates more and more of her lungs, the heart takes over the lung’s function, working harder and harder to pump oxygen to the necessary organs. It is hard work. It is tiring work. It is damn ugly. It is bloody hard to watch.
Where is God in all of this? Where is His mercy? Where is His love? Why does He allow this to happen? What would I do faced with the same thing? Is the choice of receiving chemo, or any medical treatment for a fatal disease, thwarting God’s will? Especially if we believe that all things are allowed by God without trampling on our free will? And why all these bloody philosophical questions at a time like!? Further, do they matter?!
Meh. I don’t know. Right now, I don’t care. What I do care about is that Mom be made as comfortable as possible and that God extend His Grace and Mercy upon her – taking her Home sooner rather than later…and it is already later as far as I am concerned.
Where is the Benediction in all of this? Where are the miracles? Mom has not been healed of her cancer. She is dying, minute by minute, as I write this. To those who would suggest that there have been no miracles due to a lack of faith I say, “Bah.” The miracles abound in unbelievably numerous ways.
- That her hospice house is right next door to her doctor so he will remain caring for her until the end.
- That my dad is really happy about this because he likes this doctor alot.
- That all of us children have been on the same page through out this entire week. That alone is miraculous.
- That God gave me strength and courage enough to have the hard talks with my dad.
- That I read a blog which provided a link to Walmart’s caskets.
- That my dad was willing to look at the link.
- That my mother has said, “I am ready. I am tired. I want to go.”
- That my dad let her say that, and accepted it, deeply painful though it was.
- That every grandchild has had the opportunity to visit mom and tell her they loved her.
- That she has received last rites, absolution and Holy Communion from her priest.
- That there are literally hundreds of people praying for her, that’s how many lives she has touched.
- That there is peace and calm within my heart.
- And I could go on.
Life will be different. The last holder of the memories of the maternal side of the family is dying. Those memories have been transferred. What has been forgotten is gone forever. So be it. We’ll make new ones.
Life will be different, but it will go on, despite my desire to stand on the roof top and shout to the world, “HEY! MY MOM IS DYING RIGHT NOW! WORLD, YOU NEED TO STOP TWIRLING FOR JUST A MOMENT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THIS!
That happened for only One Person, Jesus Christ.
- Christ is risen from the dead,
- Trampling down Death by death,
- And upon those in the tombs, Bestowing life!
- Khristos anesti ek nekron,
- Thanato thanaton patisas,
- Kai tis en tis mnimasi
- Zo-in kharisamenos!
Bestowing Life – in Abundance! Glory to Him for all things!