saying good-bye

Sometimes we just have to get through it

My mom is coming home so she can “go home”.


We heard some more hard words yesterday. I know the Palliative Care PA was right but it was hard to hear. Today we have an appointment with the Hospice representative.

I wish you knew my mom. She’s funny, smart, and without a doubt the most generous and giving person I”ve ever known. She would give you her last dime if you said you needed it. I am not her daughter in that regard. I would have all kinds of “criteria” in place before I would give from my resources. Not because I’m selfish but because I know what the Bible teaches about money management. We are to be generous, yes, but also smart with how we give financially. There are way too many scams and scam artitsts.

But not my mom.

Last week I saw a news report about a ninety-nine year old man who runs, three miles, three times a week. Are you kidding me? He’s written a book called, “The Running Man”. I am definitely going to read it. Why can’t that be her?

So there you have it. The comparison is acute. How do I reconcile how two people in their nineties can be so different? What did they do differently, if anything? I don’t know about him, but my mom has never smoked and never drank. She has never been overweight. So why her? In fact, she had never even been in the hospital until she fell.

How often have I said, “Life is not fair.”? How much I thought I knew what it meant until I saw it up close.

But it’s always like that, isn’t it? We spout a lot of ridiculous statements, don’t we? We Christians can be the worst sometimes, taking scripture verses out of context to support our already decided upon views. Boy, could I write a lot about that!

I try hard to avoid popular, trite phrases but I fall victim as well. But sometimes I find one that touches me right where I live.

For example, “Put your big girl panties on.” I understand that to mean that I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself. But I do. I hate what has happened to my mother. I’m embarrassed for her when she says things that spring from her confused state. I don’t want people laughing at her I hate thinking about how uncertain these next few weeks or months will be. I hate the anticipation of the inevitable.

And yet:

There’s a certain painful beauty in all of this. I have the opportunity to go on this journey with my mother. I have the opportunity to see how God will provide. I will emerge from this, not necessarily a stronger person (that’s one of those trite ideas I mentioned earlier), but a person who will know that I couldn’t have walked this journey without God’s grace. Because I can’t. I don’t have it in me. I know myself well enough to know that.

And to be honest, I’d rather not be on this journey at all. I would like my mom’s final days to be ones where we have meaningful talks and quiet precious moments. We will not. Her confusion will only get worse. Those opportunities are gone.

But I can kiss her goodbye when I leave. I can tell her I love her. I can have a cup of coffee with her. I can do for her. 

As you know my brother was gone the last week of February. I was so dreading it because it would require even more of my time. But guess what? Not only was my mom almost her normal self, she was actually conversing with me. We cleaned out some drawers and talked about the items we discovered and the memories they invoked. She actually mended a lace tablecloth; we hemmed some of her pajamas. I finally brought her over to my house for maybe the last time. It was a week I won’t forget.

I don’t believe there are “reasons” for everything, meaning some cosmic spiritual purpose that underlies all of life’s events. If that were the case, we’d all just be puppets and God would be the Master Puppeteer. I can’t find anything in Scripture to support that. And I also don’t believe there is a big lesson to learn from everything. Sometimes we just have to get through something. Period.

I sure hope this post didn’t sound discouraging. I’m a realist and an idealist through and through. I’m a realist because I face things head on. But I’m an idealist because I always have hope until I hear God tell me otherwise. I know now that praying for her return to health isn’t going to happen. I will pray instead that she will experience peace and contentment in her own home for whatever time she has left.

Life can be just hard sometimes and there’s no need to pretend otherwise.

God bless and I really do pray you have a good day.