My last post was written a week ago, but it feels so much longer. In that time, we've finished the Advent season and moved into Christmas. And my mother has entered into glory.
At 83, my precious, wonderful mother was feeling better than she had in a long, long time. We loved our visit with her on Thanksgiving. She was telling stories....lots of them. In fact, I wrote in my journal at the time that she seemed to be putting together the pieces of her life like a jigsaw puzzle. She lingered long over stories about her childhood, youth, and adulthood, especially about her journey of faith. She and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner together. She loved watching Sarah do her Irish dancing on the backyard patio. I remember her hearing the neighbors on the other side of the fence and hurrying over to chat with them (chatting with neighbors being something she loved doing more than almost anything!). She'd only recovered from hip surgery a few months before, but she was scrambling up on tiptoes and pulling herself up so she could call over the fence.
I had no idea that less than a month later, she would be gone from this earth and in the presence of Jesus.
The sudden and unexpected heart attack she had on Sunday was all the more unexpected because of how well she'd been feeling. She had no history of heart disease. She took incredibly good care of herself (and my dad took wonderful care of her during her hip recovery and her bout of cellulitis). She always believed a merry heart was the best medicine. Her doctors often told her how strong she was constitutionally. Her own mother lived to be 92; her maternal grandfather lived to be 100. I truly thought she had lots of time left.
But the Lord called her home this Christmas, and when the Lord calls, you answer. My mother answered with peace. She was one of the most active people I know, and yet when the time came, God gave her the serenity to simply surrender into his arms with assurance and peace. She taught me so much in her life, and even in her death, she continues to teach me.
I have so many stories I could tell about the grace filled moments of the past few days. Maybe I will soon. But on this day, Christmas day, I am simply rejoicing that Mama is home with Jesus....and simply missing her so much I ache all over.