Joy Grant
May 30, 1944 - April 26, 1990

Nineteen years ago today, early on a Thursday morning in Quito, Ecuador, my Mom died of cancer.

On Wednesday afternoon, we were at the hospital with her; the hospital where she had worked many years at the information desk. We knew her time was short. The skies grew heavy and dark, and it poured rain the likes of which I had rarely, if ever seen. God was weeping with all of us as we struggled to let her go. She was mostly unconscious at that point, but had approached her illness and death with dignity, humor, and grace.

I often huddled beside her on the hospital bed in those three weeks of letting go. She would warn me if she felt sick because she knew I would hide in the bathroom while the nurses helped her so I wouldn't start gagging. Even then, she mothered me. And I knew when the kindly visitors had grown too much, and she needed peace and quiet again. Most of the time, I lay beside her, holding on as long as I could.

At the end of the day, we went home, leaving her with the hospital staff, as well as two missionary friends who were nurses. They sat with her all night, and were with her when Jesus took her home.

I heard the telephone ring, but I burrowed under the covers and pretended I had not heard. My Dad came gently to tell me what I already knew in my heart.

Nineteen years later, I still miss her. Not as painfully as before, but in moments when I would do anything to have my Mom again. I wish she could have met my children. I wish so many things.

I know that Heaven is a better place because she is there, and sometimes I am amazed God lent her to us at all. I like now to think of her rocking the baby I lost, Grandma to a grandchild after all. I like to think of her sipping coffee with her friend Carol, one of the nurses who was with her when she died, who has since joined her in Heaven. When our friend Judi died recently on Maundy Thursday, I smiled to think of Mom waiting for her to welcome her and show her the ropes.

I love you Mom.

1 comment:

Patty Wysong said...

I remember your mom so well. She was a very special lady.