The Worst Storm

The storm did its worst. It roared and cracked and thundered, splitting my world into a before and an after. The tempest has passed, leaving devastation in its wake.

 

My mother is gone.

 

Was it I who just wrote that beauty and holiness are “both present in the most terrifying of floods and gales that shake us to the core of our being”? Did I think I could sing a song in the fiercest of storms?

 

Maybe, if a song can be composed of tears.

 

Last week my mother took her last breath. By the time I got here to my parents’ house, she was already unconscious, lying on a hospital bed in her own room. She had only a few hours left on this earth. I am so thankful I got to spend them with her. Those were night hours; I was awake for all of them, doing my best to make sure she was comfortable, touching her and hoping she knew that I was there, that she was loved.

 

I wiped the bubbly foam that blew from her nose. I moisturized her lips with some balm. I added a blanket when the air grew chilly. I dropped morphine into her mouth on the hour. How many nights had she stayed up with me? How many runny noses did she wipe, how many blankets did she tuck around her daughters?

 

There were a couple of hours when it was just me and her alone in the room. I lay on the edge of the king-sized bed next to the hospice bed and covered her ice-cold hand with mine. Remembering those moments now, I can honestly say that beauty and holiness were both present between us, the one physically shaking from the effects of the storm, the other being carried by it to the lovely place where faith becomes sight.

 

The beauty was there on the bed next to mine. The beauty of God’s gift—His countless gifts—to me in my mother. Her character. Her spirit. Her sensitivity. Her selflessness. Her faith. Her relationship with me. And the fact that I got to be there with her in those hours.

 

The holiness was God’s care and loving presence as He prepared to receive His daughter into eternity. Precious, says Psalm 116, in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Or, as one translation says, He doesn’t take it lightly. It matters to Him. It is a holy moment, one in which the redeemed meets the Redeemer, in which sanctification is complete.

 

Now, grief threatens to steal peace, joy and vitality, not to mention hope. But this time, it is the whisper of God’s voice that is greater than the work of the storm—the stillness of hope. Not just that I will see my beloved mother again someday, but that I will experience the grace, strength and goodness of God every day that I continue to live.

 

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. – Psalm 27:13

 

 

6 Responses to “ “The Worst Storm”

  1. imamom says:

    Your words are beautiful. I am so sorry for what you have gone through and the pain you bear. I cannot imagine. As you share it and are honest about it, God will touch hearts…and then, even the pain becomes beautiful…the beauty will rise out of the ashes. Thank you for sharing the pictures and your blog….I have fond memories of your mom and your dad both. May God grant you all the peace that only He gives…may you feel His presence intensely.

  2. Becki B says:

    What a lovely way to honor your Mom. Your words are full of heart and truth.

  3. Paul and Alison says:

    some of the mostly lovely words you have written…

  4. Angela says:

    Wow – I am almost speechless after reading your post. How beautiful, but also raw and authentic. Powerful, but also weak. Reading your words, it is evident God's amazing grace is sufficient to sustain us through the most devastating of storms. Love you much.

  5. slidbeck says:

    What a privilege and blessing to read your words. I had the privilege of meeting your mother a few times in the context of church and missions (we were missionaries in an organization they supported). The last time we saw her was early 2007. Her loving, kind demeaner showed Christ's love to us. We are deeply saddened to learn she is no longer with us, but we rejoice to know she is with the Savior she loves. Your writing draws us closer to the Savior. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Linda says:

    And the healing flow continues as I know it will for years to come. Your words are an outlet for you and a continuing healing for me as I experience my loss again seeing yours in your words. Prayers, love, blessings & hugs…

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