When my mother was in the hospice center, dying, her suffering took precedence. We were immersed, consumed with her every movement and breath. We didn’t know how long we had with her. Everything else faded away for me.
Even my own children and husband.
I just needed to do that…to walk beside her, to walk with my brother and grandfather. I couldn’t leave them alone in the valley of the shadow of death. It was where I wanted to be. And, for that time, we couldn’t see anything else. For weeks.
I’ve mentioned a couple times, the lowest day of my time on planet earth….when my brother carried me out of the hospice center, exhausted. I slept for the first time in days or weeks…I don’t really know how long. And, when I woke up, I heard sounds from the kitchen. I walked in a daze to the kitchen, mumbling how I needed to get back to her. Tim told me to eat. I didn’t want to eat, or talk, or see.
“I have to call someone to take me back. I can’t drive myself yet. Have to get back.”
I stared, not seeing.
James came up beside me and tugged at my sleeve.
“Mom, I drew this for you.”
From deep beneath a fog, I opened my eyes to look at my son and his picture.
I hugged him. And, felt it…felt something besides death. I could see, and smell food cooking, and feel life breathing.
“I think I will eat. And, maybe sleep.”
Tim sat a plate in front of me, and I ate. I slept. I saw. And, I breathed for awhile in the land of the living.
Lately, I’ve been consumed again, surrounded by much suffering, walking in the valley of the shadow of death with many mothers. It is the calling God has laid on our hearts. I’m not complaining. It is a sacred privilege. But, when we forget to breathe for too long, our hearts get all ugly and mangled and we’re no good to anyone.
Last night, I looked up. I saw my son. And, this morning, I realize I need to breathe, to come up for air.
My friend Ginny has been telling me I need at least two days away, to hear thoughts and pray prayers and find my way through the muck. I haven’t listened. I’m listening now.
I will be shutting off my Facebook notifications on my phone for the next two days. I will still take local hospital calls. But, if you have any other need for the next two days, please contact Holly Haas at caring4carleigh at yahoo dot com. You can also message Holly on Facebook, if needed.
Please pray for SGM, for all those who serve, for the families we minister to, and for me.