Walking through my lounge towards the patio doors, I paused for a moment appreciating the quiet and calm of the early morning. Opening the curtains I was greeted by a magnificent sunrise, peeping over the cliff above the river.
Every bone in my body ached. The past six months had really drained every ounce of energy from me. If I was lucky I had four hours sleep of a night, but some nights like last night I had been awake most of the time.
The beauty of the sunrise and the flowing river was balm to my soul. Putting my coffee on the table I eased into my favourite chair. As I was about to take my first sip, the shrill ringing of the telephone disturbed the morning peace.
It was a sound I had grown to hate! My mother was terminally ill and was living with my older sister in another town.
She was suffering from Idiopathic Pulmonary fibrosis. The past six months I had spent more time it seemed in the car, driving to and from Port Elizabeth than I had at home. Each time I would prepare myself for the worst and then she would pull through for another week or so.
As I moved towards the telephone, my husband picked up the extension. I stood motionless unable to move.
“Is this it, Lord?” I asked.
“You know I can’t take much more” I prayed as tears ran down my cheeks.
“I’m weak and my soul is weary. I can’t even seem to find time to spend with You anymore.” I sobbed.
Dave walked out to me and put his arms around me. He hugged me closely allowing my tears to fall.
“Your mom has slipped into a coma. She had a bad turn during the night and now her heart is beginning to pack up. I told Amy you would leave as soon as possible.”
“Mom, Dad was that Aunty Amy?” Mandy the youngest asked. Turning around I saw all three of my daughters standing anxiously watching us.
“Yes it was” Dave answered.
“Gran is in a coma and mom will leave as soon as she can get her things together.”
“I’ll go with her.” Mandy said.
“As you know I am on study leave for the next ten days and I don’t think mom should drive alone.”
Two hours later we were on the road. Dave and the older girls would stay in East London and follow us the next day. My two older daughters worked with my husband in our family business; arrangements had to be made for the animals to be fed and other odds and ends.
“Mom do you think this is it?” Mandy asked tears rolling down her cheeks. She and my mother shared a very special bond.
“Only God knows, but she has never been in a coma before.”
“I suppose it is better that He takes her.”
I nodded silently. My mother had always been such a strong woman. She was very beautiful and even though she was in her late seventies, her skin was still flawless. She always dressed well and took great pride in her appearance. The last year though, she had fought a brave battle. It had begun to wear her down and I felt these last week’s especially, had been very draining on us all.
Arriving at my sister a few hours later, we were greeted with the news she was still comatose. The doctor had told Amy that her organs were all slowly shutting down and she would soon be gone.
Taking Mandy’s hand I walked with her into Mom’s room. The scene that greeted my eyes was one of peace and tranquillity. Mom looked as those she was asleep. Her breathing was shallow yet she seemed so at peace. Bending down I kissed her cheeks, Mandy knelt alongside me.
Two hours later, with Amy, her daughters, Mandy and I standing around her bed, Mom passed away.
I later noticed her bible lying open on her bedside table. Picking it up I noticed Matthew 11 vs. 28-29 highlighted.
“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, and you will find rest for your souls.”
I knelt and thanked God for His promises and gave Him the load I had been carrying, knowing I couldn’t do it alone.
Author's note. True story and written as a tribute to my mom for Mother's day this coming Sunday.
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