Friday, September 23, 2011

Another Death

My daughter came home from the football game with a purple ribbon on her red hoodie. A classmate's mother had died today. I skipped the football game to go to calling hours for my friends(sisters from church) mother.  Two very different ages, but families grieving. Cancer is the culprit.
Pastor Ken shared about his week on Wednesday night prayer meeting. Melody with her cancer returning, a young woman of 40. An older man, who may not make it home. First it was bladder cancer, now it is in his pancreas. Pastor talked about Elizabeth, who if she had lived, would have suffered for two months to two years, the doctors predicted. The cancer had ripped through her stomach, and other organs.  She was a quiet woman with a fierce love for her Savior. He saved her on Wednesday from a painful, lingering death. It is still hard to say good-bye, I thought as I listened to Sandy describe her mother's death this evening, as I have so many times in funeral homes, even this one.
I had such an oppressive feeling this morning. Such sadness in this world. I wasn't even sure what I would find when I came home from work today with my dog. He shook it off, whatever it was. I thank God. No, not to even compare the death of an animal to a person, but death stalks us at all turns it seems sometimes. 
I think of other young girls, high school or college age, who lost their mothers to cancer. I won't swear this time, but I'm thinking it. I feel for them because I almost lost my mother at that age. God healed her and we had her for 26 more years. I didn't know that at age 20, when the hospital called at night, my father rushing out the door to be with her, and still not home in the morning. I drove on to nursing school, distraught. The instructors encouraged me to take a leave, but I knew I couldn't quit or change my plans because my mother would give up, if she thought I had given up on her. She told me during this time, she was ready to go, but I looked at her and told her I wasn't ready for her to die. I was too young. She came to my wedding in a wheelchair. She didn't walk for another year, but walk she did with physical therapy and my father's faith in her. He wouldn't let her give up, either.
I think of Christina losing her mother, Wendy; of Rachel, Robin, Joy, Kristy losing their mother, Nancy. I think and pray for another of Mary Ellen's friends, who's mother has cancer.
A girl always misses her mother. I'm a girl of 50 and miss my mother these last three years. A girl misses her during her wedding, her children's births, her heartaches and happiness. In big events and small little moments, in twilight before evening activities start, an ache can grab her lungs with a hard sigh.
My prayers are with these daughters. I don't know why these mothers have to leave their young daughters. But I know my Savior said He would never leave or forsake His followers. We live in a fallen world and Death thinks he rules, but Jesus stole his keys. There is victory in knowing Jesus. Like the tapestry in a poem I heard, it's all knots and snags here, with a glimpse of beauty, but above, we will see the majestic tapestry.
Let Jesus love surround the sorrowing.
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