Thursday, May 3, 2012

Letting Go

"For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death."
Psalm 48:14  (KJV)

I sat down wearily in Mom's recliner chair, as she and I waited for the ambulance to arrive.
We were alone in her living room.
She was so incredibly ill.
It was heart wrenching to watch.
I had hit my knees so many times that night, begging God to give her relief, to ease the horrible pain, to stop the nausea and vomiting.  

Things just went from bad to worse.

"I don't think I'm gonna make it this time", she said, matter-of-factly.  Her voice was weak.

"Mom, don't talk like that", I pleaded.

"I just can't keep going on like this.
I want you to pray for me that I'll have grace for the crossing."

She was trying her utmost to prepare me.

I began to cry.

"Keep encouraged, and stay in the faith", she encouraged me.

She seemed to know this would be her final trip.

After she was admitted to the hospital later that night, we began a rollercoaster ride that would carry us to the top where our hearts were filled with hope, then drop us violently over the ledge on a nose-dive plunge of hopeless despair.
It dragged on like that for days.
The constant ebb and flow of our emotions took a toll on all of us.

I kept praying, interceding on her behalf, hoping for a miracle, pleading for more time.
If I would have been totally honest with myself, I would have had to admit that this time felt different from all the times before.
And even though I had a lot of faith, and even though I kept hope alive, there was a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, nagging me with the fear that my time with my precious Mother was swiftly coming to a close.

It crossed my mind many times throughout the ordeal that Mom may need me to tell her that if it really was her time, I was willing to let her go.
I tried.  And each time I would get to that part, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

This day was different.
I stood at my faithful spot.
The spot I found myself standing in day after day after long, dreary day.
I got tired and pulled up the recliner chair that was in her close as I could get it to her bed.

I sat and stared at her poor, little, thin, left hand.
The hand that had comforted me countless times through the years.
The hand that has dried my tears, nurtured and cared for me, pulled me close when I was afraid, and waved good-bye at the door more times than I can remember.

It was a deep, dark purple with ugly bruises from all of the poking of needles and IVs day after day.  
At various times, she would look at her hands and then look at me pitifully and shake her head.
"I'm so sorry, Mom", was all I ever knew to say.

She seemed to be failing fast.
I knew things were not looking good.
I came to the realization that it was really selfish of me to keep begging for more time, if this were to be the quality of time it would be.  

How could we bear to keep watching her go through this day after perpetual day?
I reached a place of resignation to God's will, deep inside.
He brought me to the dreaded point.
It took every bit of courage I could muster, but I took her little hand in mine, 
and I began to pray....out loud.

The words were wrenched from someplace deep,
"Jesus, take her hand!
I can only hold it for so long.
Please, take her hand and guide her safe over.
You can hold her hand forever."

I felt a gentle release....knowing if He was the One Who took her hand, she would be safe.

I could let her go....only under those conditions.

I would release her only into the hands of the One Who loved her....exceedingly more than even I do.

The evening she died, I was standing in my usual spot holding her frail, little hand, uttering the same words.

"Jesus, please take her hand.
Please take her hand."

At last, He did.

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