My mom and I had a few good laughs today, especially after my sister got here. Mom was visiting us from Florida for a couple of weeks, but Toy came up too after talking to mom last night. We all knew it was time.
And so tonight the oncologist told us mom’s cancer has spread and that she may have a week or two. Or less. Anyone who wants to see her should do so now, he said.
It may be her cats who would want to see her the most, actually. Mom is, as Toy points out, the kindest zoo keeper ever. Our lives with her have always been shared with creature that crawl, swim, bark or purr. We remembered all their names, and laughed at their adventures.
I don’t share her love of things that are fuzzy or have feathers, but I do like to have fun, and she is one woman who through over 50 years as a pastor’s wife learned to look at the lighter side of things. It’s her way of managing all the pain in the world, and if I ever make you laugh you have her to thank.
This has all been rather sudden. Just Friday she was sitting on our front porch, watching for the deer that sometimes cross our field. Saturday morning she was in severe pain and we brought her to the hospital. The list of her ills and their interactions is very long, but she was quickly dealing with renal failure, fever, confusion and pain.
Today was one of the many graces we experience in the kindness of our Lord. She knows where she is, who we are, and what is going on. As long as this lasts, we have determined to praise God for his faithfulness, leavening our grief with joy and making promises we can only keep by his power and for his pleasure.
Our son Pilgrim was reading Psalm 62 to her this afternoon and she was crying and repeating each line:
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.
She is sometimes fearful but relatively comfortable. The care here is good. It’s hard for her to be away from her own home and her own church. But she seems a little stronger today- ate a little and joked around.
Laughter is her favorite medicine, after all.