promises to keep

Yesterday morning my mom called to me about 5:30 in the morning. I was alone with her in her hospital room, and my sister was resting down the hall in the waiting room.

“Do I have cancer?” she asked.

“Yes, mom,” I said.

“Am I dying?”

“Yes, mam.”

“How long?” she asked.

“Not long,” I said. “Just days.”

She began to cry a little and was quite for a while.

“Can they make it go away?” she asked.

“Sometimes, mom. But not this time.”

“What does it look like?”

“I don’t know, mom”

“Does it look like a snake?

“I don’t think so,” I said. “Maybe like a sponge. But it’s not soft.”

And so began an amazing day, a day of taking care of business.

As the grandchildren gathered, and people from my church stopped by, she asked each one individually about their relationship with Christ.

“Tell me about the day of your salvation,” she asked, even though she knows the story as well as I do.

And for the grand kids there were private words of blessing and challenge. And lots of promises. So many I’ve lost track.

I think I agreed to help my sister paint my mom’s house in Florida white. Dad painted it pink before he died and she didn’t want to change it because he did it but she never liked it.

Most of the promises were about caring for one another.

“Take care of your sister,” she told me.

“I will.”


“I promise.”

And we all promised to love Jesus.

A quartet from our church came and sang hymns to her. One of our men came and played “Beyond the Sunset” on the harmonica.

She went strong for hours and finally fell asleep about 3 in the morning, as Katie sang hymns. I had gone home about 9 and collapsed, sleeping till 8 this morning.

It was an exhausting celebration.

And a very good day.

Photos by my son Michael. More here.

7 thoughts on “promises to keep”

  1. “There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
    No not one, no not one.
    None else could heal all our soul’s diseases,
    No not one, No not one.
    Jesus knows all about out troubles,
    He will guide till the day is done.
    There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
    No not one,
    No not one.”

    Grace and Peace to you and all your family, Wally.

  2. Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts. Thank you again for allowing us into your lives. Thank you for sharing your parents. It was not in vain! So many souls were saved, loved, taught, guided, and changed because of your parents! Thank you does not seem a big enough expression of appreciation but that is all I have! I love you guys! God bless you.

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