ALTO – It is the first anniversary of losing my mom. With losing her, also came the rapid decline and the eventual loss of my father. I know I am not alone in losing a parent, or even the loss of both in a short time. However, they were my parents and my loss.
The call came at the beginning of December telling me my mom had fallen again, and they found a mass on her brain that was not there in September. I rushed home to Ohio. I will never forget sitting with the oncologist team as they told us they were not recommending treatment. My mother had 1-2 months max. She would need to go to a rehab center and may never come home. They also told me my mother would forget who we were, how to swallow, and would be in much pain in the end.
My parents still lived on their own. My father was relatively healthy, and my mom’s main caregiver. I looked at him and asked “Dad, do you understand what they are saying?” He was in so much shock we had to explain it to him several times.
I went to my childhood home that night and sobbed. “God, how am I going to get through this? I don’t live here!” My thoughts were, she will never come home again, I will never get to take her shopping (she loved to shop), never get to take her to lunch, never go on another drive to see nature.
But God had other plans. After 21 days my mother was strong enough to come home. I brought her home Christmas Eve. We contacted a care company that could be with my parents on the weekends, and my sister and I would take every other week.
God gave me the opportunity to minister and slowly say goodbye to my mom as well as witness to my father who was not a believer at the time. I was able to take her shopping and to lunch one last time. I took them out for drives whenever weather permitted. Although we are not always granted prayers the way we ask for them, God gave me mine. I was able to spend the next 5 months every other Monday through Friday with my parents.
God was my strength and my peace. When days were hard and lonely, I would sing hymns and songs of praise with my mom. The first few months she was even able to sing with me. I meditated on verses of strength and joy in the Psalms. I laughed at the funny things that in her mind she thought were going on. I wish I could tell you I was always joyful and patient. I was not! There were many sleepless nights with long days, but God would always renew me.
Not only did we get FIVE months, but my mother never had any of the effects of the tumor. She knew us, just not all the circumstances. She never knew she was sick and was never in pain.
One of the last songs I sang to her while she was awake was the “Goodness of God''. I love the first few lines.
“I love You Lord. Your mercy never fails me. All my days I’ve been held in Your hands. From the moment that I wake up un?l I lay my head, I will sing of the goodness of God.”
I could not pen words that are truer for my life. He is Good, Faithful, He is Lord.
He gave me strength to endure not only her passing, but my father 8 months later. I can assure you that He is there in the Darkest nights. He is close, He will sustain you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Render graduated from Georgetown College with a BA. She has served at Lakeside Community Church for over 31 years as leader to women and families. She is a mother and grandmother. She also is a realtor with Keller Williams.