“Won’t he be surprised when I live to be 90!” That was my 88-year old mother’s reaction when the doctor who discharged her from the hospital suggested she get Hospice care. Her congestive heart disease and pulmonary problems had sent her to the hospital three times over the past couple years. It didn’t look like her desire to reach her 90th birthday would become a reality…
But two years later on January 26, 2015 we partied hearty. Mom even received a citation from her State Legislator for reaching such a milestone! Her desire in life had been realized. Or so she thought. My daughter discovered she was pregnant and Mom embraced a new goal: live long enough to hold her first great grandchild.
Little Tobin was born September 8. Since Bethany and Alan live over seven hours away, they planned to come home for Thanksgiving. But as the weeks after his birth progressed, Mom’s breathing became more and more labored. After two years of being hospital-free, we once again had to admit her. She was discharged a week later…this time under Hospice.
As I cared for her at home, hopes she would make it to Thanksgiving grew dim. But we prayed fervently God would grant Mom this last desire of her heart. On Saturday evening, October 24, that desire was met when Bethany made it home and placed her firstborn in Mom’s frail arms.
Yet God’s mercies didn’t stop….
On Monday, my brother, Marty, and his family hastily arranged to drive in from Ohio. More prayer they would make it in time. More rejoicing when they arrived. My son found a flight from Nashville that would get him in around midnight. More prayer. More rejoicing when he walked in the door and said, “Hi Grandma.”
Mom not only lived through the night, but was able to converse with each of us at the breakfast table the next morning. When God took her home later that afternoon my brother and I were both at her side.
My mom was one of the most flexible people I’ve ever known. She learned how to be content no matter what life handed her. Her life—and death—exemplify Psalm 37. She delighted in the Lord and he granted her the desires of her heart. Even the last one….
Quite a finale, Mom!