Tag Archive | death

Beauty Before Death

This post is a part of my 10-Minute Tuesday series. I write for 10 minutes on a one-word prompt without heavy editing and see what happens. Today’s prompt is “Autumn.”

It inevitably happens. Every September and October beautiful photos start popping up on Instagram and Facebook of gorgeous, fiery trees. People oooh and ahhh about the spectacular colors.

Preston Hughes parkwayI live in Florida, so we don’t really get that here. And I grew up in California’s Bay Area, and I never really got that there either. So I’m not missing what I never knew. But the pictures are lovely.

Funny thing about Autumn: the colors are at their peak when the leaves are about to die and drop for the winter. Beauty before death.

Huh.

I don’t know quite what to make of that. I have heard that the cold and snow is necessary in order for new growth to happen underground. The snow insulates the ground and new life happens underneath. But seeing beauty in dying? That’s a really foreign concept.

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I haven’t been in a position of being with someone as they took their last breath, but I have been there for a couple of beloved pets. In fact, just within the last couple of months I held my sweet little parakeet as he breathed his last. The tears were streaming down my cheeks. I really didn’t see anything beautiful there. I only felt pain.

So this is what I see now: It is in the letting go, in the dying, in the giving up and the killing off of anything that takes my focus away from God that resurrection happens. You see, in order for resurrection to happen, death has to occur. If I want to live a new life, I have to be willing to let the old things go.

Watching someone you love pass on from this life is not easy, but there are many times in which we see this as a mercy because they are suffering here on this earth. We know they will have new life if they are in Christ, and so we assure them that they can go in peace.

I remember talking to my mom on the phone in the last minutes of her life. My siblings were with her and they held the phone to her ear. All I could hear was her heavy, last stage breathing as the cancer took her away. Through my tears I told her not to wait for me. I wasn’t going to get there in time. She could go on without me.

She left just a short while later.

But that death had to occur in order for new life to begin. Those leaves in Autumn have to fall in order for the new growth to come in the Spring.

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Missing My Mom

fullsizeoutput_395Yesterday, August 2, was the 11th anniversary of my mom’s death.

11 years.

Pancreatic cancer took her when she was just 73 years old. Way too young.

But cancer does that, doesn’t it?

My dad had passed away from a heart attack just 16 months before, so now my siblings and I were orphans.

I wasn’t there when my mom breathed her last. My family and I had plane tickets to go see her just a few days later, but she was on the other side of the country, so nothing was 101_0249going to happen quickly. My two sisters and my brother were all there, though.

They got me on the phone in her hospital room and put the phone to her ear. I could hear her heavy breathing. I told her not to wait 6-22-03_1for us. It was OK. She could go. We would be alright.

I tear up even now writing those words.103_349

It wasn’t long after that and she was gone.

No more care packages in the mail for whatever reason. Or no reason.

No more phone calls just to see how we were.

101_0250She would miss Morgan’s first day of kindergarten. Justin’s first job. Nathan starting college. Weddings, babies, graduations. Her great grandchildren, whom she would have adored.

Miss you, Mom. It’s not the same without you.

 

This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday link up. Join the fun! 

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Missing Mom

Tomorrow, my mom would have turned 78. Hard to believe. Wish she could be around to celebrate. But we lost her to pancreatic cancer four and a half years ago.The last time I saw her was a couple of months before she died. We had planned a family trip out to Cali so the kids could see her, but she didn’t know whether she’d make it that long.

Neither did we. But we hoped.

Here she is with my three kids. She came to spend that first Thanksgiving after my dad died with us. That was the last time my kids would see her. She died the next August. Boy, did she love her grandchildren. It was hard to be far away. She sent gifts and came to see us whenever she could, but it’s not the same as being there.

Though my mom and I were never good at heart-to-heart talks, I miss her still. Mostly, I miss what my children will miss by not having her around.

Happy birthday, Mom. I love you.

Thankful today for:

137. Resolve stain remover

138. games with friends

139. playdates for my doggy

140. VeggieTales

141. fulfilled promises

142. my mom

And The Sickness Goes On

As I write this, my littlest, Morgan, is sleeping. It’s 6:42 p.m.

Sigh

Yet another illness has gotten into our house, and I’m baffled as to why. We’ve really been hit hard this season. Some have surmised that it’s the warm winter that set all our allergies aflame, opening our sinuses to other little buggies that have stuck around and made us sick. Only we don’t have the classic signs of allergies; just a little nasal congestion and some coughing. No itchy, watery eyes. No constantly running nose. There have been sore throats, but that’s about it. It’s been a silent stalker and I’m ready to be done with it.

All the kids have missed at least one day of school. My mother-in-law has had to curtail her piano teaching business for the last month, David missed a couple of days of work. I’m the only one who kept up my job(s), even though I had two days where I barely had a voice. But then, that’s typical mom-hood, isn’t it?

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

What really do I have to complain about? My children miss a couple of days of school and have varying fevers and coughing and headaches. They don’t have cancer. They have all their limbs, and those are all in working order. They have never been in any kind of accident causing debilitating injuries. We are blessed with our health the vast majority of the time. I think I know people in all the above categories.

Though we lost three babies to early miscarriages, we have many friends who have lost a child in many different ways: a freak accident; complications from severe disabilities; trisomy 13. Disease, disfigurement, death. Not happy subjects, but a fact of life on this planet. A sad, sad part of life.

Thank God for the Resurrection! We so look forward to heaven where there will be no more death and sickness and pain.

Meanwhile, around our house, we break out the applesauce, ramp up the carrot juice, make everyone as comfortable as possible, and pray that she is the last one to fall.

Amen. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Thankful today for:

108. hope

109. colloidal silver

110. Tylenol

Shelter

These are the things I find comforting:
My husband’s arms
My house on a stormy day
My slippers when my feet are cold
But mostly, no matter what, that God is in control. That’s very comforting.

Bad things happen. That’s a reality of life. Bad things happen to good people. That’s just a fact. It’s a sinful world. People
make bad choices, and we suffer the consequences of that. I have a friend whose son got drunk, drove, and seriously injured someone in an accident he caused. He has cut off all ties to his dad because he doesn’t want to be preached to. That’s very sad. And hard. But God is in control.

David and I miscarried three babies. How bad is that? I lost both of my parents within 16 months of each other. How much does that stink? Children die. Friends suffer from cancer. A faithful minister of the gospel loses his home. A family loses everything they own in a house fire. God is in control. And He weeps with us over our losses. But it’s a sinful world. Heaven awaits, do not despair. I don’t want to sound trite and say that these are light and momentary afflictions, but they are.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Psalm 91: 1-2 says: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'”

The shelter of His wings; the shadow of the Almighty. My God in whom I trust. I’m here for the long haul, fixing my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith. Are you with me?

Thankfulness list:

30. a 3-day weekend

31. the beautiful sites of America

32. freedom