I’ve got to admit it—it’s hard getting back to blogging (and other things) after the unexpected loss of my mom. Let me start by thanking you all for your prayers and many expressions of love and concern over the past couple of weeks. Each one has touched my broken heart. Each one has been much appreciated.
It was so difficult to see Mom lying in a hospital bed injured beyond repair, but you know what—God was with us each step of the way, granting tender mercies and reminding us of other mercies he’s given leading up to this last event. I won’t try to recount them all. There are too many. But I would like to share a few and offer God praise for them all, told and untold.
Ah, the tender mercy of seeing God’s hand in the timing of Mom’s home-going. Though it felt too soon to let her go, God allowed us a great year together as a family this year.
Mom and Dad celebrated their 60th anniversary on January 1st, and we celebrated Mom’s 80th birthday in May. Even though she suffered a TIA in June and another in August, Mom and Dad were able to enjoy our family reunion trip to Tennessee in July. After finally getting her blood pressure stabilized, Mom and Dad were also able to take a little trip back to Missouri (their home for twenty-two years before moving to Tulsa last year) just a couple of weeks before the accident. They had the best time renewing their friendships and visiting their church. All of these things were gifts—tender mercies as my friend Karen called them—to all involved.
Even the timing of Mom and Dad’s move last year—which was hard on all of us at the time—is a gift beyond compare now. God knew it was time for Mom to go home so he moved them close to family in plenty of time for them to get settled in their new home and church. If they hadn’t moved, Dad would be three hours away from family today. Instead, he lives in the same town as my sister Carolyn now, and I live just seventy-five miles away. A tender mercy indeed.
God’s merciful timing was evident on the day of the accident as well. Carolyn just happened to be at home because her boys were on fall break. The accident happened right outside the hairdresser’s shop—and she just happened to be a friend of Carolyn’s. She called Carolyn and told her Mom had been in an accident, and Carolyn was able to get to the scene in a few short minutes because it was just blocks away. Since my nephew Cody was home from school, he was able to go pick up my dad and take him to the hospital—which again, just happened to be blocks from the accident scene. Pretty amazing in a city the size of Tulsa. Coincidences? No. More tender mercies from our loving Lord.
Even the way Mom died was a mercy in the grand scheme of things. Her dad died in the months following a major stroke, and it looked like Mom might be headed in that direction. As hard as it was to see her poor sweet body go through the trauma of an accident, she went into a coma almost immediately and didn’t suffer. How much better than to endure the effects of a major stroke or the cruelty of cancer or Alzheimer’s. Yes, another tender mercy—though it still hurts like crazy to have lost her so unexpectedly.
The few days we had with her in the hospital were another gift from God. Dad especially needed those days to accept the fact that it was time for her to go to heaven. Those days were precious to us all. Even though we didn’t know if she could hear us, we were able to tell her we loved her.
These are just a few of God’s tender mercies to us, and oh, what comfort he gave us through them. What peace they offered in the midst of heartbreaking pain. What a kind and loving heavenly Father we have. And yes, I’m singing his praise through tears right now, but oh how worthy he is of our praise.
Thank you, friends, for standing with me and my family during a time of such great sorrow.
“Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.” Lamentations 3:32
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