Mom and the Angels
Yesterday, I went to visit mom at the nursing home, and she was in bed because after they got her up and bathed her, she was too weak to sit up in her wheelchair so they had to put her back in bed. And she was laying there, kind of curled up almost fetal position, so thin and so tired-looking, and so… well, lost-looking, I think, like a little lost tired bewildered child… and I sat down beside her, and for the first while I didn’t know what to do or say, just shot up a couple of little arrow prayers, saying, “Father… what…??? Can’t You just take care of her?…” because I didn’t know what else to ask.
And after a while I was gently rubbing her head, running my hands through her hair, and she took hold of my hands and held them between hers, and then she looked at me so hard, and she reached up and took hold of my face, one hand on each cheek, and drew me down to her and held my face up against her face, cheek to cheek… and then let me go.
And I saw Grandpa’s old Bible, the one that was amazingly still at Kelly Care when mom went there 25 years after her Dad had been a resident there, and I picked it up and started to read to her from it… Psalm 23 and 24 and 19, and John 3, and the first verses of John 10, and John 17, and the description of the New Jerusalem from the end of Revelation, and those verses where the writer says, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” and the description of the angels worshiping at the throne, calling out “Holy, holy, holy…” and Paul’s description of Your return when we shall all rise up to meet You in the air and be with You always… and I sang “The Lord’s My Shepherd” and “Amazing Grace” and “What a Friend we Have in Jesus”…
And most of the time mom just looked kind of worried like she often does, and was tangling her nightgown in knots, like she often does, lost in the haze that is Alzheimer’s, but at one point she stretched out her arm and kind of pointed… at first I thought she was pointing out the window like she had done when I first arrived, but then it seemed to me that she was actually pointing toward the room at the foot of the bed, and I turned to look, and while my eyes did not “see” anything physically, suddenly I KNEW that the room was full of angels and they were kind of moving about, shimmering, smiling, stretching out their arms to mom (and maybe to me too?). Even though I couldn’t see them physically, the sense of their presence was so powerful that I FELT them so strongly that I could dimly “see” them; it wasn’t physical, but it wasn’t “in my mind’s eye” either, it was beyond both of those kinds of seeing… and I think mom clearly knew they were there WITH US, sharing that moment with us… who knows, maybe she really could see them, I kind of think maybe she could …
And then things kind of returned to normal, but I was left with this really strong sense that they were happy with us together there, and that they had come to wait for the moment when it is time for them to take my mommy home to be with her precious Jesus, and her Bill and her own mommy and daddy… I believe her time is very near… Thank You for this gift, dear Jesus.
This incident took place on March 28, 2008. On April 23, as the last snowflakes of the season fell, the angels came to take my mom home to Jesus and her loved ones. The nurses and care aides told us they had never seen anyone pass on so peacefully. We were not surprised, of course. Our mom had all her life walked close to Jesus, her dearest friend. She made that decision as a little child, and reaffirmed it as she entered her adult years, and she never looked back. On the eve of her 20th birthday, mom wrote in her diary:
Tonight – Feb 24, 1945,
On the last night of my nineteenth year I gladly and lovingly rededicate my whole heart and life forever to my “dearest Friend on whom my hope of heaven depends.”
Dear Lord, give me strength to live ever, only, all for Thee. Then, whatever comes – or goes, I will be satisfied knowing that Thou, who shed Thy blood that I might live, didst deign this best for me.
A child of Thy loving care,
Marjorie V. Mott
When I read this prayer, I sometimes wonder if mom had some kind of sense that one day she, a vital, intelligent, friendly, loving, outgoing woman, might suffer some great loss, as ended up happening as she sank inexorably into the depths of dementia. And yet she did not complain, although it was clearly not easy for her while she was still aware of what was happening; she knew, with full assurance, that her Lord and God was in control, and “working out all things for good,” even things which do not seem good to us, loving her and caring for her, holding her in His loving arms to the very end here on earth – and then welcoming her into the arms of Jesus, face to face, forever whole and full of joy, with her dearest Friend and Lord.
Will you, too, pray this prayer? Will you, too, be looking forward with joy and peace, to when your time on this earth is finished? Will the angels be coming to meet you? This “miracle story” can be yours, too! (And if you have questions about any of this, feel free to leave a message on my guest book, and I’ll get right back to you!)
Date March 29, 2008