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)

For the last several days I have debated whether to write something about the events of the last week.  After reading Pithless Thoughts and St. James Kids recent words on death…well…sigh… ~

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.

  1. That her hospice house is right next door to her doctor so he will remain caring for her until the end.
  2. That my dad is really happy about this because he likes this doctor alot.
  3. That all of us children have been on the same page through out this entire week.  That alone is miraculous.
  4. That God gave me strength and courage enough to have the hard talks with my dad.
  5. That I read a blog which provided a link to Walmart’s caskets.
  6. That my dad was willing to look at the link.
  7. That my mother has said, “I am ready.  I am tired.  I want to go.”
  8. That my dad let her say that, and accepted it, deeply painful though it was.
  9. That every grandchild has had the opportunity to visit mom and tell her they loved her.
  10. That she has received last rites, absolution and Holy Communion from her priest.
  11. That there are literally hundreds of people praying for her, that’s how many lives she has touched.
  12. That there is peace and calm within my heart.
  13. 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!


14 thoughts on “Abundance

  1. I hurt for you. I am still aching after my father’s death, and today was reminded of Mary and Martha of Bethany. Each said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11).

    May her memory be eternal, and may you and your family have peace out of pain.

  2. We continue praying for you and your family and especially your mother as she draws close to that journey from life to life. Though we endure the pain of temporary separation, we know how much more glorious will be the reunion and eternity together in the resurrection.

  3. Wow…you have put a voice to the pains and questions felt when going through this with a loved one. I can especially relate to the notion that the world continues even when our loved ones are suffering and dying. The people on the elevator, the people in the grocery store…no one knows, these strangers can’t acknowledge what is happening. It is very surreal.

    Nonetheless, despite the terrible circumstances, we have Hope. There is the ultimate cure…Christ, our Savior. May His Love, Peach and Mercy be with your mom and you and your family at this difficult time.

    Our family found Hospice to be a great source of help…it allowed us to focus solely on mom while they managed the medical things. Hope your experience is a good one.

  4. You have said so much, and so well for so many of us, too. Thank you.

    We have been joined to our families for so long we tend to forget we were given to each other by God, and ultimately, our stewardship ends, and we have to give them back. There is so much love in what you have written that it seems one of the greatest gifts… what was meant to happen and has…. and this you will always have… thanks be to God.

    My prayers for you, your family and all God’s unheralded saints… thanks for heralding one here.

  5. Oh, Trudy, I am so sorry. It is very hard. I went this route in 1996 and spent a couple of weeks with my dad, arranging for hospice for mom. I left and drove home from Missouri on Saturday and the next evening, the phone rang in our home and Dad said “Jan, she’s gone.” Nothing can take this pain away at this point, but you do not bear it alone.

    This is why death is the last enemy, and the one that it took the Son of God Himself to defeat…because on our own, it is beyond any of us to accept or to cope with. You remain in my prayers, and I’m sending cyber-hugs.

  6. My dear, may the Lord God bless you in all of this. We may not know where or when “the miracles” are, but they are there.

    Death comes to us all – some sooner and some later. And all we can do is trust God’s Love for us. Why suffering? I have no idea. Only that God is there for us, that He remains faithful to us in all things and at all times. He knows what is best – not only for us but for others. Sometimes what is best for others overlaps us, and affects us.

    My love to you and many prayers are going up.

  7. The vigil *is* the hardest part. Why does God allow it? Maybe it’s a case of, “We suffer here, or we suffer there”? I don’t know. What I do know is that prayers continue for you, for her, for your father. I’m grateful that even in the midst of your grief, you are able to see the miracles. Holding you in my heart…

  8. Sending you love, hugs and many prayers.

    I asked myself all the same questions in September, watching my brother ‘s life draw to its close. It is so very, very hard.

    For a peaceful ending to her life, painless, blameless, unashamed, and a good defence before the dread Judgement Seat of Christ, grant this, O Lord……..

  9. Oh hon, my heart breaks as I read this post, my love and intensive prayers to you. When I am faced with a death, I am reminded of the words of the LItany in the Liturgy “a Christian death, painless, blameless, and a good defense before the dread judgement seat of Christ” – I cannot wish for anything but that for your dear mom.

    GIve her a hug from me, and give yourself one from me too.

  10. Dear Trudy and your family: May God bless you all in this dark time. We had no idea that Betty would be taken so quickly, and I certainly was not prepared for that. God has been gracious in the past four years. He will sustain you in the bitterness of a loved ones death. I’m glad you were able to express yourself so well in this Blog. My prayers continue for your mother and for you/

  11. Lord have mercy. That is hard. Thank you for letting us know. I will pray for your Mom, you, your family. I am glad you can see God’s mercy in the midst of this pain.

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