My presence shall go with you,
and I will give you rest.
The call came early. She was experiencing pain and was having difficulty breathing. My husband and I rushed to her apartment, where we found her lying on her bed. She told me she had eaten a banana that morning, and wondered if it was indigestion. It did not sound like it to me. We gathered her up and rushed to the Emergency Room.
After spending a couple of hours in the waiting room, a doctor came out and gave us the news. She had had a heart attack and was being transferred to the cardiac ward. After several long hours of waiting, a cardiologist came to talk with me. He was sober but not disheartened. He told me that if you had to have a heart attack, she had had it in the best area of the heart. So apparently there was minimal damage. They would keep her and do more tests. That was Tuesday.
On Wednesday I went back to the hospital, but because she was in the cardiac ward, visitors were not allowed to stay in her room. Only intermittent visits every five or six hours. Her sisters came and of course they wanted to see her. So I gave up one of my visitations for them. Then my cousin wanted to see her, and again I allowed her my place. I finally was able to visit with her that evening. Fifteen short minutes was all that was allowed. So I spent most of Wednesday in the waiting room. I told her I would be back for the ten o'clock visitation the next day.
Thursday morning I brewed coffee and filled a thermos. Newspaper and magazines in hand, I settled in for a long morning, waiting for the ten o'clock visitation.
Other people wandered into windowless room. At 9:45 a nurse came into the waiting room and asked if there were any of my mothers relatives present. I stood. The nurse escorted me to the hallway where a doctor waited to speak with me. He told me my mother had had another heart attack and wanted permission to insert a pace maker. I told him to do whatever he needed to do. Finding the pay phone I called my husband and one of my aunts. A nurse appeared and I was taken to a private room. A large table centered in the room with chairs surrounding it. I took a seat as the nurse said the doctor would be in to speak to me shortly. By then my aunt and husband had come, and we waited until the door opened and presented the doctor who had spoken with me earlier.
His appearance was serious but kind, as he told me there was nothing more they could do and my mother had died. My aunt started crying, yet I sat there stunned. I had just spoken with her the night before and now she was gone. Before the doctor left the room, I thanked him.
Two days later, I sat in the church where I had been married, as the preacher spoke words about my mother. She was a kind and generous woman. She had come to know Christ late in life, but she was now safe in the arms of Jesus.
As a young woman losing a Mom, it was difficult to relate to others. Most people didn't lose their parents when they are in the twenties. Yet, God had deemed his need for her. Even after all these years, I still have an empty place in my heart where she resides.
Don't lose an opportunity to tell your mother how much you love and appreciate her. We don't know if we will have tomorrow.
Grace At Home