Mom Smiles from Heaven

A Smile from Heaven

On Sept 2nd, my Mother was welcomed home into Heaven. Words cannot express the profound sadness left from her absence. A deafening silence has replace her words and laughter…leaving a gaping chasm in my heart. Her death brings turmoil over what went wrong and how to settle her affairs. Guilt invades my consciousness with nagging questions…Did I do enough? Should I have come home sooner? Did I underestimate the seriousness of her condition? Only God knows and for now, He isn’t talking.

Our emotional roller coaster left the platform on July 29th. At first, all appeared to go well. Then we began to notice “little things” that raised concern. Our fears were initially calmed with assurances from her medical team that all of the “little things” were normal for her procedure. Mom was released to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. The “little things” became more pronounced. After four days, the doctor ordered her return to the hospital. She had contracted a staph infection which led to an emergency surgery followed by kidney failure and breathing problems. One day she appeared to be better… the next day a new symptom would emerge. The cycle continued until she was too weak to endure another day. We were helpless to change the course of what is now history.

During each day I held strong…at least around my family. I attempted to detach from my emotions so I could function and keep up with the constant changes in her care. But when I was alone, the dam burst open and the tears flowed.

I cried out to God for direction… for clarity…                           for a reason why this was happening.


During the 60 minute drive back and forth to the hospital, my car became a decompression chamber. I prayed. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I hit the seat or steering wheel. I probed the days events aloud in the confines of my car. At bedtime, I wept uncontrollably between the words I managed to share with my husband. I found solace in his voice though his comforting embrace was three states away.

Now I attempt to get back into the routine events of my life. Tears remain just below the surface… held at bay until some seemingly insignificant detail brings Mother’s final days back to the foreground of my mind. Though I miss her daily, I find consolation in knowing she has a new body and is no longer in pain. I am thankful to have been among her caregivers during these past weeks. And truly blessed to have shared her last moments on Earth.

Since her passing, I was engulfed with making arrangements for her memorial service and creating a video in celebration of her life. Since the funeral we have been sifting through the possessions that she held dear. Time after time, we exchanged a smile… or tear… and sometimes even a laugh… as we discovered family photos and childhood crafts lovingly tucked away. We were overwhelmed to find that Mom kept every card and letter that she’d ever received.

I leave you with this beautiful sunset that was taken on the evening of her passing. To me, it is a glimpse of her amazing smile that now shines brightly in the heavens.

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