I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. -Psalm 121
When I was a little girl, I would often hear my mom recite this Psalm. It was her dad’s mantra and since she was pretty much a Daddy’s girl, it became her mantra as well. I was too young to understand what everything truly meant, but as I grew older, it made much more sense to me.
August 1956 – December 2012
My mom passed last Sunday. Her breath became shorter and shorter until she took her last one and her heart stopped. My brother called saying, “We lost her.” and this overwhelming sense of numbness filled me. It was one of the saddest days of my life.
Yesterday was my Mom’s memorial. We decided not to have a funeral, but a celebratory Homegoing. And let me tell you, it was simply amazing. The preacher had me laughing more than I cried. The choir sung my mom’s favorite songs and people shared how lovely and wonderful she was to them. I got to meet her classmates and her friends as they extended love and kisses. I was even surprised to see several of my classmates and friends come out. I’m not sure how many hugs a kisses I received, but each one felt different. Each one felt.. God-sent.
Everyone tells you to be strong and I get that. “Be strong for your family and your children.” And at the time I wondered, “Who’s going to be strong for me?” And it wasn’t until all the calls and the texts and the visits.. the smiles, the tears, the hugs, the kisses, and the love from everyone else that made me realize that they will be strong for me. To say that I’ll miss her would be an understatement. To say that I am OK would be a lie. But seeing everyone’s faces and to feel everyone’s love is a guarantee that I will be. And God.. that is a beautiful thing.
I can’t say that I don’t feel some type of relief that she gets to really rest. My mom suffered for nearly four months. With an amputated leg and a hole in her back that was 6″ deep due to a bed sore, she barely slept and she barely ate. She grew tired from the crying, the screaming, and the wails from the pain. She grew weary. And God says, “There is rest for the weary.”
The dusk of Mom’s Homegoing, I caught a glimpse of the aftermath of the Meteor shower. Perfect timing.
But, we were prepared. And not just for this day, but my Mom prepared us to live without her. She taught us how to love one another unconditionally, how to support one another, how to be mothers, brothers, sisters, lovers. She taught us how to be independent and not to wait around for anyone to get something done. She gave life lessons like a mother should. She taught us to be amazing. And since God was so pleased, He felt her work here was done. Well Done.