Monday, June 15, 2015

A Peaceful Departure

Not long after we arrived, we got word that the ambulance would soon be transporting Mom to the hospice center.

On our drive to Ohio, Dad had called stating the 'hospice lady' suggested we take mom to the center rather than home as they didn't feel we had adequate oxygen for her needs there.  In hindsight, they knew her time was extremely short and it would be easier on all of us for her to pass in THEIR care and not ours alone.

Techno, the kids, and I went to my parent's house and unpacked our vehicle and everyone but me took a much needed nap.  We all knew it would take a little while for her to be transported and then get settled into her room at the hospice house.

Once everyone was awake, showered, and changed we drove to Cleveland to see her again.

The view outside her room was breathtaking.

God provided flowering trees, a calm lake, and best of all, a BEAUTIFUL sunset on Lake Erie not long after our arrival.

Once again, mom awoke as we solemnly entered her room and approached her bedside to give her hugs.  She was lucid and calm and peaceful.

"It's really not a lie.  You ARE here."  When she said these words this time, however, it was less of a question and more of a resolution.

"Yes, mom.  We're here." I hugged her long and hard.

We sat with her and dad as we ate our dinner of take out pizza.  The kids meandered around the patio overlooking Lake Erie right outside her door.  The littles were thrilled to have found a playground just a few doors down and around the side of the building.  The older kids happily supervised them while I sat with my mom.

We surveyed the facility, mentally noting what we'd do with the kids the next day.  Wifi was available for Techno to work remotely; a playroom was just down the hall for the girls; the playground was just a short walk outside - as we had already discovered; there was room for the kids to set up their computers to work on school as the week progressed.

We made plans for Dad to stay with mom Fri (the night of our arrival) and I'd stay with her Sat since Techno would be with the girls before heading to Cincinnati to work for the week.

We left late that night.  Hugging mom.  Kissing her goodnight.  This time, she didn't wake up and say, "It's not a lie?"

In my heart I knew this really was goodbye.  I didn't fully admit it yet, but I think I knew.

An hour or so later, exhausted, we arrived at mom and dad's house.  We quickly got everyone ready and tucked into bed.  Techno and I followed on their heels.

At 5:30 am, my cell phone rang.  I didn't really need to answer the phone to know why someone was calling so early, but answer it I did.

Dad was crying.  "She's gone."

My own tears fell.  He had gone to bed a little after midnight.  The nurse came in around 5am to give mom her morning meds.  He gently woke my dad to let him know she had passed quietly, peacefully in the night.

I'm so very grateful God granted my prayer for us to make it to Ohio before this time arrived.

I know my mom was just waiting. Waiting to see ALL of her family.  EVERYONE came to see her that Sunday before when things took a rapid turn for the worse.  The only ones missing were my husband and children.  She had thought we were all going to come that first visit.  When we didn't, she held on.

She waited.

She gave us the gift of saying goodbye.  Of getting one last hug.  One last memory.

I'm so grateful for such a gift.  My children have a beautiful scene of the setting sun over Lake Erie, with flowering trees, a warm gentle breeze, and a playground filled with laughter as their last memory of time spent with Mamaw.

The view from Mom's courtyard right outside her room at the hospice center.
What a beautiful gift God gave us that night.
I have that memory too.  Plus the knowledge that I helped fulfill my mom's last wish to have her whole family gathered around her in the end.

No, we weren't all 'literally' by her side as she passed, but we all had an opportunity to see her; to say goodbye; to hug her one last time.

What a precious and peaceful way to depart from this life on earth and enter eternal life in Heaven with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

My dad shared with me what my mom asked him not long after arriving at the hospice center. She held his hand and said, "Why is it taking so long?"  Puzzled, he asked, "So long for what?"  She quietly replied, "To get to Heaven."

We were all there.  She was ready.  She yearned for a home far better than this one.

I love you mom.  It wasn't a lie.  We came to say goodbye.

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