A Beautiful Dying
“Honey, are you mad at me? Please don't be mad. I'm sorry!” Mom said. What did she just say? It sounded like she said, “I have lung cancer.” Yes, I was mad … I was furious! Mom had LUNG CANCER! She had just been diagnosed. Merry Christmas, your mother has a debilitating disease that could take her life. Hadn't I pleaded with her to stop smoking the moment revelation came that it could bring death knocking at her door? I warned her that if she got sick with cancer I was going to be extremely angry. And now, here she was telling me that she had it! Well, I was angry but more than that I was scared. Scared of loosing the mother that I adored. I hugged and kissed her ... I loved my mom so very much. What were we going to do? What if she died?
“Oh Lord, didn't I tell you that if anything ever happened to my mom we were going to have a problem? Grandmother died on a Wednesday, Dad dies of Aids less than a week later and then 15 weeks later we lost our first baby. And now, my mother? How much more death can a person withstand? You said that you wouldn't give me more than I could handle. How am I going to handle this? I can't! I just can't!” Oh, but I would and I did.
The barrage of treatments began immediately. Months of chemo, radiation therapy,traveling back and forth from Georgia to Virginia with my then four year old daughter followed. Praying, crying out to God, ministering to my family the only truth I had to hold to … God is faithful and He has never left or forsaken us. He is a healer. He is more than able to heal lung cancer as well.
In the midst of all of this, we decided that it was time for Mom to move to Georgia where I could better care for her. Moriah needed me and I couldn't keep going back to Virginia. So, Mom bought a home for the four of us to live in together. The perfect place for us all once Mom was healed. A home shared in love where she would be honored as the mother I adored! We were all very excited despite the circumstances.
“Mom, what's wrong?” I asked. “My vision is blurred and I can't get my balance.” she said. I called my husband and told him that I needed to get Mom to the hospital immediately. I called an ambulance.
The doctor said that she wanted to do some more testing. They were going to put some type of dye in Mom so that they could see if the cancer had spread. I stayed with Mom at the hospital waiting for the results I already knew. The cancer had spread to Mom's brain. The doctor with great compassion said, “I know that this is hard but I would like to recommend hospice care.” We didn't know much about it but I knew one thing … I wanted to be with her every minute we had left.
“Mom, I want you to come home with me.” I said. “Are you sure? Are you sure that you want me to die at home?” she said. “Yes, I want you there with me ... I don't want you to die in a hospital. It is time to go home.” Crying we made the decision.
Two weeks later Mom was gone. We sat around her bed reading the Word, singing praise and worship. We cried and said goodbye. During which the most beautiful thing happened, unafraid Moriah crawled into the bed beside her, wrapped her arms around her, kissed her gently on the cheek and said. “Grammie, I love you. Goodbye.” Then, she crawled back into my arms and held me as I cried.
A few days later, Moriah came bounding into the room as only a five year old can and said, “Mommie, I had the most wonderful dream about Grammie. We were in a beautiful field of flowers and green grass. It looked like Heaven. Grammie was there dressed in a long white gown. Mommie, she was completely healed, no more pain and she had all of her beautiful red hair.” I wept for joy!
You see, Mom was a natural red head and I grieved even more than she did the loss of her beautiful red hair from cancer. How like our God to heal our wounded hearts through the dreams of a child. Even in death there can be beauty that brings forth healing!