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It Can't Get Any Better Than That
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It Can’t Get Any Better Than That
I don’t recall who it was, but someone walked up to me and said, “I’m sorry about your Mom?” My immediate reply was, “I’m not.” I know this person meant well as they had such compassion in their voice. To say the least, my reply surprised them. “Mom is not suffering anymore. Mom is with Dad and Jesus. Christmas with Jesus, it can’t get any better than that.”
When I was called and told Mom has passed away, the relief that came over me was amazing. I don’t think I’d ever felt the peace of God so strong within me. Mom had a long journey before she went home. Mom had a difficult journey. Mom suffered, especially in the last days of her life.
All of us told her months ago she could go. We didn’t like it, but we knew it was best for her. That’s what we all wanted, the BEST for Mom. We assured her we’d be okay without her and we’d take care of each other. All her life every breath she took, everything she did was for us kids, and we knew that. Mom went without, so we could have. Mom sacrificed her own health to keep on keeping on for us kids. We so wanted the BEST for Mom. As we grew older we became more aware of all that she did, all that she felt for us kids. It was our time now to give back to her. All along the final steps of her journey, all we wanted was the BEST for her.
The courage and strength Mom displayed all of her life, especially the last days, is courage and strength that could only come from God. She never lost her sense of humor. We laughed and laughed and laughed. But that’s what Mom and I did, we laughed a lot. Mom never forgot the old gospel songs and she spent countless time singing them. At the Manor where she lived, she sang those hymns sometimes all night long. No matter how confused she seemed, Mom knew the words to the old hymns and also some scripture.
Nearly five years ago when Mom was told she didn’t have long to live was the one time in my life I felt so inadequate as a daughter. Mom did not take the news well. We had lost Dad the year before. He wasn’t with us now to help any of us, especially Mom, with the news she was told. I wanted to give Mom a Bible verse. I wanted to be the strong one that encouraged her to keep on going. Dad was our Bible scholar. Dad was the one who always knew what verse fit to whatever situation. Dad was gone and I drew a complete blank. It wasn’t bad enough I couldn’t think of the verse that “fit.” I couldn’t think of a Bible verse at all. I prayed and prayed asking God to help me. I asked Him to give me a verse for Mom.
While I was at work the next day, I was standing up front near the cash registers. There were little books stuck by the register in a small rack. One caught my eye. It said, “Daily Inspirations.” I picked it up thinking maybe I would find something there I could share with MMom.
On the very first page,“Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid. For God is with us eeverywhere we go.” Joshua 1:9. There it was. There was the verse Mom needed. I could hardly wait to share it with her.
Joshua 1:9 became Mom and my verse. Often over the past years and months of Mom’s journey, we shared that verse. Each time I started the verse, Mom would jump right in and help to finish it. The last time I shared it with her, though, became a special memory I pray never to forget. I started the verse as usual, “Be strong and of good courage.” Then Mom jumped in and helped, “be not afraid for.” At that moment in time, Mom took over and said it all, “God is not going to leave me anywhere.” Mom was ready. Mom was ready to go to the reward of heaven, which I knew, which we all knew, was the BEST for Mom. I knew Mom would not be with us much longer.
As each day went by I felt strong. I felt I had cut all the threads that so tightly attached me to Mom. She was headed to heaven. She would be done suffering and I longed for that for her. I knew it was what was BEST for her.
The last couple days of her life proved difficult for her and for us. The suffering increased and it was hard to watch. The day before she died I called the Manor and asked if I could stop in after I got off work. I knew it’d be late, but everything within me told me to go and sit with her a while.
As always I felt right at home as I went thru the Manor door. I knew where the folding chairs were and got myself one so I could sit with Mom. They had just put her down for the night. She was confused. Even though she never said so, I knew the Mom that was before me did not know me. I knew deep down inside where it counts, Mom did know me.
I had the most troubling visit with Mom I’d ever had. I couldn’t believe it. At the time when our visits were suppose to be precious, peaceful and rewarding, there I was in the midst of the most troubling visit I had ever had with her.
Mom got mean with me. I couldn’t believe what my ears were hearing. Mom had never been mean with me. Mom and I laughed and had fun………always. Not this time. As I sat by her bedside and stroked her hair and wept with a loud voice she said, “Will you stop that!” I stopped. I cried and cried and cried.
I sat there quietly simply watching her sleep. At times she’d turn her head and look at me with those “lost eyes” I’d seen her with for many weeks. I cried some more. Several times she asked me what I was doing there. I explained to her I had missed her and thought I’d come and spend some time with her.
After a while, she looked at me the last time and said, “Will you get out of here!” The hurt, the rejection, the pain I felt was more than this heart could bear. I got up from the chair, bent over to kiss her and I said, “Mom, if you go on to heaven before I see you again, give Dad and Larry a hug for me and tell them I love them.” Mom looked at me and in the sweetest voice I’d heard in a long time she said, “I sure will, okay!”
As I left the Manor I knew. I knew it was the last time I’d see her alive. I was so distraught over my visit I could barely get settled to drive. I cried. I cried a lot because this was NOT the last conversation with Mom I wanted to remember. I never imagined in a million years our last conversation would be so heart wrenching and mean. Was it? Was it really? Or was it the BEST thing Mom could do for me before she left?
It took a while. After buckets of tears and a restless night of sleep, finally things were made a little clearer to me. For months I’d told Mom to go. For months I told her we’d all be fine and she needed to just go on. The threads were cut and Mom was going to go to heaven which was the BEST thing for her.
Only God knows me better than Mom. God knows me best. Every square inch of me inside and out, God knows and accepts. God knew there was a thread hanging. I never saw it. I never knew it was there, but God did. That little thread had to go. God was coming for Mom and the path had to be clear. No strings. No selfishness. No complaining. God wanted the path clear and clean when He came to get Mom. God knew of no other way to cut that little thread. God did what was BEST for me and more important, what was BEST for Mom. You see, in her most devastating condition, God still USED Mom for His good and His purpose. He allowed that little thread to be cut. He chose the BEST person in my life to use to cut that thread. He did what was BEST for Mom. Mom always did what was best for me, (for all of us). That night, alone in the room with Mom only having short hours to live, Mom continued to do what was best for me.
Truly I have been allowed to see a side of our awesome God I didn’t know existed. If we think we are of no use to Him, we are. If we feel we have failed and God would not want us, He does. God used my worn out, mixed up, frail Mother, to achieve His good and His purpose. He was determined to keep on schedule. He knew the exact second He was coming for her. There would be no delays. There would be nothing in the way to keep Him from accomplishing His BEST for Mom.
We wanted the best for Mom. God gave her His best. You see, Mom is spending Christmas with Dad and with Jesus……………it simply doesn’t get any better than that!
Dea Sipes, December 19, 2009
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Reader Count & Comments
24 Dec 2008
My husband died a week before Christmas. He told me that he would be fine and that I should leave the hospital and go to my sons Christmas play.
He called me back to his bedside for one more kiss, grinned and waved goodbye.
During the play he died.
Even in death God has a perfect plan. It just takes us a while to understand....and yes Christmas with Jesus...it can't get any better than that! Thank you so much for bringing this beautiful memory back, and making it shine. God Bless You.
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