I cling to this song now more than ever. So much has been happening, and I felt this urge to play my guitar (which I am still learning). I pulled up this song my Stephanie Frizzell Gretzinger. I played it to the best of my ability, stretching my fingers to play a Bm. After going through it a couple of times, I wanted to listen to it. I pulled it up on YouTube. I’ve always loved this song. It got me through the recovery from my last surgery.
Tears like lava ran hot down my face. Just a couple of hours earlier, mom’s Hospice nurse told me that the loss of appetite, the dehydration, the lack of will, normally signifies the end is near. “But she’s not ‘that far gone’ I rebutted. She explained that they are typically called in when a person has less then 6 months to live. But I called them in, not because she was “that far gone,” but to provide her with more care (or so I thought). Daddy was under their care for 6 years . . . She explained that mom was admitted because they thought she had less than 6 months to live . . .
The call came this morning as I was in my prayer closet reading my “One Thousand Gifts” devotional. Ann Voskamp wrote of a friend who was dying, yet still had joy and grace. She still had eucharisteo. I thought of mom, and how I had been sharing the very concepts from this book with her. To no avail. Then my phone rang with the call. It was a testing of my spirit. Could I give thanks in this? She had fallen again during the night, and apparently the night nurse didn’t pass on the message. Mom told the nurse this morning that she had fallen during the night, a nurse helped her into bed, said to stay on her back in case she had broken something, and she would be back. She never came.
Lord, you have examined me
and know all about me.
The night supervisor said the night nurse denied her falling. Hospice said she had fallen the 21st, and the story was similar to the one she was reporting this morning . . . I was there yesterday and she didn’t mention it. And why did no one call me on the 21st? Her mind isn’t “that far gone,” or is it? She cried about having been left on the toilet for two hours when a nurse said that she was going to be right back. My heart hurt. Why hadn’t she told me this?
She had a UTI awhile back that made her delusional. I found out yesterday her pneumonia has returned. She has lost a significant amount of weight. Seeing her lying in bed, pale and frail in a diaper is too much. I see flashbacks of my Uncle Chuck who died with Hospice when I was 9. Daddy went to the Hospice House in December, but I was away in Wisconsin when he departed this earth. A blessing in disguise.
She wanted some of her country-fried chicken that had just been delivered to her room for lunch, so I cut it up and cut the breading off, thankful that she wanted to eat. I fed her a bite after doing the “airplane” with the fork, and after a second she started crying. “It’s peppery,” she cried. “It burns my mouth.” She spit it out. I gave her some fruit, and she ate a little. My sister Janet proceeded to feed her while I stepped out to talk to the Hospice nurse in private.
She complimented my shirt, and I glanced down to see what I was wearing. Jesus Culture. She said she hasn’t seen them in person yet. She is a sister in Christ. She then told me that mom’s symptoms are normal for someone that is on their last leg of life—that I need to prepare to let go. I fought it. I argued. Then I broke down, torrents of tears bursting from behind the dam that I had so carefully built up around my heart.
“It’s a good thing you have your faith,” the nurse said.
“It’s the only thing that keeps me going,” I replied.
She noticed that mom doesn’t have peace, and asked about her salvation. I assured her that she is saved, and mentioned that when I took her to counseling a few weeks beforehand she told my counselor that she wasn’t sure she would go to heaven. What?! My mom had been slain in the spirit, and spoken in tongues before I was born. She read her Bible daily and listened to worship music when I lived with her. How could she question her salvation? She was led through the prayer for peace of mind. But where is the peace?
Just a month ago she had a vision during the day while my sister was visiting of a circle that had a meadow, and in the meadow was my grandma, her mom, calling her name. “She wasn’t upset like that time I ran away,” mom said. “She was just calling my name, ‘Barbie, Barbie.'” I was at my pastor’s house when I got the call from my sister. I lost it. But wouldn’t that give her peace? Give me peace?
In the parking lot after visiting mom today I embraced my sister as she started to cry. I cried too, and began to release peace over her and pray for the Lord to give her supernatural strength. She prayed for me as well, and for mom. We held one another for quite sometime. She told me that she doesn’t know how anyone can not have faith to get through times like these. She hadn’t heard the conversation between the nurse and I earlier. I told her I don’t know. But mom has lost faith, and that’s half of the battle.
While playing the guitar I had the urge to write—to bleed on the screen of my computer. So here I am. Bleeding. Could it be that within one year I will lose both of my parents? Do I have what it takes to get get the back room cleared out and ready for Hospice to move mom in for her final days, weeks, months? Casey and I finally moved out of her house last November and got a place of our own. We were newlyweds. And caregivers. It was too much, especially with my disability. Can I take that on? Could I forgive myself if I didn’t?
Yet, what get’s me through this is knowing that He knows me. He knows my thoughts, my desires, my fears, my weaknesses. Nothing is hidden from His sight. Lord, You are God, and you don’t miss a thing. Still You know me. You memorize me. And for that I am thankful. ❤