|My MaryAnna Tree in Bloom at Night|
Sunlight flooded the room turning all things golden. Dust particles floated like the downy feathers of angel wings on the morning rays. Mom broke the silence with a smile and a welcomed request for something to drink. She had slept soundly for twenty-four hours on the hospital bed delivered the day before by Hospice Supply. Now on heaven's threshold, she knew her battle with congestive heart failure was soon to be won. Surrounded by her children, cradled by Jesus, she rested like a baby for the first time in weeks. We watched and prayed, much as Jesus had asked His inner circle to do in the Garden before He drank the cup.
This last supper with Mom was my most memorable meal. Time had come to pour her a final cup to refresh her parched throat. She pursed dry lips to sip, and savored several drafts of 7-Up. The whites of her eyes had turned honey gold. I knew as a nursing student it wouldn't be long. Her liver was failing. Dew disappeared from the roses on her pale cheeks, and she looked up and said, "I'm hungry." My sister immediately excused herself and ran to the kitchen. She soon returned with a perfectly lovely piece of lemon pie, Mom's favorite food on Earth. Jesus had prompted a neighbor to bake and deliver the pie that very morning.
Mom's smile widened on seeing the treat. The peace of Christ emanated from her as she opened her mouth to be spoon-fed. She commented on how wonderful it tasted and then said with a grin, "What if I live?" We all understood that this was her way of saying, "To live is Christ and to die great gain." Filled, although we hadn't taken a bite, we returned her smile.
Mom's fight to live now over, she taught us one last lesson around the family table: how to trust Jesus with our dying breath. She had been a superb cook herself, an incredible hostess, always inviting people to her table. How fitting that Jesus invited her to breakfast in bed in the presence of loved ones, serving her her favorite dessert on a humble plate.
To refer to Mom as a survivor would be an understatement. She outlived her siblings and parents, and possessed a stubborn will to live life to the fullest. Perhaps God's greatest miracle in her occurred that day, when He granted her faith to yield to the dying process, to enjoy every moment of coming home with Him. The memory of this scene served alongside a shivering slice of lemon pie half eaten feeds my soul to this day. Mom taught us much about how to live, more importantly she finished well and taught us how to die. This she did at the table God prepared for us in her bedroom. Following the meal, she drifted off to sleep and never woke or spoke again.
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|Forever You've Marked Me, Mom! I love and miss you!!!|
Learning to Fly in His Shadow,