by Lisa on May 6, 2013

A new day is dawning. Sunlight is birthing from the eastern skies. I can see it peeking through the curtains in my room. I know. I know what that means. Time to get up. Time to get ready. Time to head to the flower shop for a day of helping out with Mother’s Day prep.

It is also a time to remember. A time to mourn. A time of anniversary.

Three years ago today my mother woke up to the same morning light. The same sun rising in the east. The same peeking through. Only it was different. Different in the fact that that day, May 6th 2010, would be her last day here on earth.

This is a hard day for me. All I can see in my mind’s eye are those last moments. Those last snippets of time slipping away. Of life ebbing from her body—away from us to her new home. I try to recall the laughter, the moments of fun and joy, the times of tenderness and love, the family vacations, the everyday life, the snuggling with grandkids, the cooking in the kitchen. I try to remember her smell, her touch, her voice, but all I can seem to do right now is remember that last day. Those last moments.

I wrote the following words three years ago, a day and a night after she passed. It is what was happening in my mind then and what will be be happening my mind off and on all day.

1:43 am
My eyes pop open. What time is it? 1:43. Last night about this time I, too, woke up only to hear my Mom’s distressed breathing.

1:45 am
Close my eyes. Go back to sleep.

1:48 am
Check the clock again. Last night at this time I was running to find a nurse to help us.

1:50 am
Close my eyes. Go Back to sleep.

1:54 am
Now what time is it? Last night at this time I was leaning over my Mom’s bed praying for her pain to be removed and peace.

1:55 am
Close my eyes. Go back to sleep.

2:00 am
Why is this so hard? Last night at this time I was frantically looking for Pastor Cross’ phone number so I could call him.

2:00 am
Close my eyes. Go back to sleep.

2:03 am
Why can’t I just go back to sleep? Last night at this time I was watching the nurses give my Mom morphine to help relieve her discomfort. I was watching my Dad lean over Mom smothering her with kisses her telling her how much he loved her.

2:03 am
Make these images go away!! Close my eyes. Go back to sleep.

2:05 am
Oh stop!! Last night at this time we were trying to adjust Mom to a more comfortable position in her bed all the while reassuring she was not alone and that we love her very much.

2:05 am
Please, Lord, take this agony away. I just want sleep.

2:07 am
Help!! She’s slipping. Last night at this time Mom was taking her final breaths. Why? Why does she have to go? I’m not ready.

2:08 am
The pain is immense.

2:10 am
It is finished. Last night at this time I was staring in disbelief at the empy shell of my mother. She is gone and there is nothing I can do about it.

2:11 am
I can not sleep. I get up. Searching for relief and comfort.

2:15 am
Go to the back bedroom. Find Mom’s old Bible. I just want to see her handwriting. Just want to read her words penned in the margins. I just want a piece of her back.

2:16 am
Open the Bible where the silk ribbon sits. First words I read…”But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish” (Isaiah 9:1a)

2:18 am
Flip through the pages searching for Mom’s writing.

2:19 am
I find a part she has underlined. It says: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfor one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18)

2:25 am
Weep. Thank you Lord for my Mom. And, thank You too for Your precious words of comfort.

2:38 am
Now I can go back to sleep.

Thank you for remembering with me. Sharing. Sharing this anniversary of the last day. Sharing this day of passing. Sharing a time of mourning.

But, more importantly, sharing another anniversary of Cathy Landles’ rebirth, of crossover from death to life, of joy in life eternal with Him. Amen.



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

francesca May 6, 2013 at 6:02 am

i always grow restless at this time of the month. it’s spring, and blooming all around, but yet i am nervous and restless. i can never really remember or understand why until the day comes, when the date calls me back to duty and i HAVE to remember what i’d so badly like to remove from my brain. i love the words you wrote, i love the line when you describe mr. bill speaking love words to cathy, lovingly, accompanying her. when i think of her, i have her seating bare-footed on the once backroom couch, on her jeans and a colorful t-shirt, drinking diet pepsi and talking and laughing with and at us. this image from my american life keeps jumping in, and it’s really soothing, and immensely sweet. love you, sis. love you, cath, wherever you are.

Amy May 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Cathy…only later would I call her that. Mrs. Landles was my 7th grade math teacher. That one teacher who looks hard enough to see the potential in you that other teachers missed. The one who convinces you that you’re worth something. That you can succeed. That you are loved. Later, I was fortunate to assist Cathy and Jeanne (Haslip) in their classrooms as I worked to become a teacher. Because of you, Lisa, all these years later, I learned that Cathy was (and is) a child of our Lord. It didn’t matter then. I was just a kid…and didn’t know Jesus yet myself. It is so vitally important now. The peace and comfort of knowing we’ll not only see her again, but be with her for all eternity. Bless you and your family.

Lisa May 7, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Thanks Fra. I’ll be praying for your spirit too. Love you!

Lisa May 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Thank you for your kind words. It is comforting to hear such lovely things about my mom, and a great remind to focus on the eternal not the temporal.

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