Exactly one month ago, right down to the minute, my mother breathed her last breath. August 25, 2013, 7:00 AM. I know. I was beside her. Thank You, Lord, for allowing me this precious moment. Someone (sorry, I can’t remember who it was) said we came full circle: she was with me as I took my first breath. I was with her as she took her last breath. She was 99 years and five months old.
She had fallen on Friday evening. By Tuesday, I was there. By the way, I live in Michigan, she lived in Colorado. She knew me and was happy to see me. But everyday she was a noticeably worse. Saturday I decided to stay with her all night. I drank coffee and diet Coke, worked puzzle’s on the internet…anything to stay awake. I dozed a couple of times but not for long. At 4:00 AM I moved over beside her, held her hand and talked to her. At 6:30 I noticed a difference in her breathing. At 7:00 AM she simply stopped breathing.
An interesting sidelight here is that exactly 71 years ago, to the day, the doctor told my dad she would give birth to the baby, however, she wouldn’t live and neither would the baby.
God had a better plan! This was Bill’s 71st birthday! He said for about a week he’d had the feeling that she would leave us on his birthday! I admit it had crossed my mind but I dismissed it as a foolish thought. But here we were August 25, 2013.
Soon family members began to arrive. Doug was the first to come. He was a grandson by marriage. He loved her. Then others came. We were standing in her room, feeling sad and just looking at her, when a man, we didn’t know, stepped into the room. He introduced himself as a hospice chaplain. If there was anything he could do, just tell him, then he just stood there with us. Finally…all of a sudden, he began singing, “Amazing Grace!” He had a beautiful voice. We all joined in singing with him! It was an unbelievable, precious time! I felt God so near.
Finally several hours later, the man from the funeral home came to take her away. The chaplain was still with us! We went out to the hall until we were told we could go back in to say our final goodbyes. Oh. But when we went in her room she looked beautiful and so peaceful! Yes, she was in a long brown bag, zipped up to her neck, but the man had brushed her hair! It hadn’t been brushed in days… She looked so beautiful, like she was sleeping!
We said good-bye one last time, a very sad time. Then we went back into the hall while the man finished. The chaplain told us to follow him when her body was brought out. So we did…the undertaker, the chaplain and all of us, like a parade! But the chaplain began singing again and we all joined in as we walked out the door behind him. Then he took out an instrument and began playing! It was so beautiful! We were still following him and the undertaker with the body of my mother. When we got to the hearse we all stopped. Chaplain Michael Nicosia kept playing his Native American Flute. It was so beautiful!
More to share later…