Ephesians 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
March 9th came and went this year and to many people it was just an ordinary day. On that day I lay in bed sick with my chemo, wondering if the nausea would ever pass, and remembering those last few hours with my mother twenty-five years ago. It was a bittersweet day when I kissed my mother for the last time. I remember wanting her to stay, but knowing and asking the Lord to ease her suffering. She had fought a battle which had started the summer before. I remember the day we found out for sure it was cancer.
Randy had checked out for leave on Friday afternoon from the base in Pensacola and we drove the short distance to the state park in Gulf Shores, Alabama. It took us a couple of hours to get our site set up due to the fact that we were ready for any situation and had provisions for a whole week of camping. It was a beautiful night and before we turned in, we went to call Mom in Minnesota to see what the lung specialist had to say about her recent xrays. When my mom answered the phone she just started weeping and told me it was inoperable lung cancer and it had already spread to her lymph nodes. As I hung up the pay phone(cell phones were only on tv), Randy was already making a list of what we needed to do to get me to Minnesota by the next day. There was another young couple across from our site and I will never forget how they came over and just started helping us pack up with just the headlights from the car. The car was loaded and ready for the short drive home within 20 minutes.
It was a difficult time as Randy and I juggled our marriage over many miles. The Lord was with us and that time in our lives made our relationship with each other much stronger. I knew then that the Lord had given me the right man for a husband. I went to Minnesota that Labor Day weekend and would stay until shortly before Mom’s battle would finish.
Mom told me in the middle of February that it was time for me to return to Randy and let her finish her days in the hospice wing of the rehab center. She said, “You are the last thing I am hanging on to and it is time for you to go.” The cancer had already passed to her liver and her brain by this point. I was obedient to my mom one last time and went home to be with my husband. Then came the call on March 8th that her time was short. Randy and I boarded a plane and flew to be with Mom as she completed her journey on this earth.
Twenty-Five years later and I still feel that deep empty void she left on that day. The Lord has made the pain bearable, but through the years I have learned that the Lord made a unique spot in my life for Mom and only she can fill it. It wasn’t meant to be filled by someone else. I’m so thankful that I do not have regret to go with that void. I’m glad I took the opportunity I had to care for my mom, love my mom, and make peace with my mom. How about you? Do you have a mom still on this earth; call her, email her, hug her, take her to lunch, take her on a cruise! I don’t care how you do it, but let her know that you love her.