Today marks the twelfth anniversary of my Mother’s death. I just can’t help but think about her today. One of the first columns I wrote about five years ago detailed the loss of my Mom. People …
Today marks the twelfth anniversary of my Mother’s death. I just can’t help but think about her today. One of the first columns I wrote about five years ago detailed the loss of my Mom. People have told me over the years that they cut that article out of paper and read it to their small group, put it in their Bible or sent it to people they loved, among other things. So, on this anniversary of my mother’s death, I wanted to share these words again with you. I pray this work from a few years back will still have an impact on you today. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I still miss you.
Mother’s Day has never quite been the same for me since 2006.
I buried my Mom on Monday, May 15th of that year, which turned out to be the day after Mother’s Day. I can remember sitting in a church service in Fayette that particular Mother’s Day morning, engulfed
with a heavy heart as I watched all those moms being recognized by the pastor. It was strange to witness those recognitions knowing that evening would be Mom’s visitation at the funeral home. Truly, it was a surreal moment.
But the hardest moment was actually a few days earlier.
Mom had been declared brain dead at 7:15AM on Friday morning, May 12th.
You see, she had suffered from an aneurysm burst several weeks before. I was pastoring in North Carolina when I got the call she was being flown in to DCH by helicopter and the situation was dire. I quickly flew out of Raleigh and spent two weeks living in the hospital by her side. The doctors were cautiously hoping she could improve enough to clamp the aneurysm. And, eventually, the doctors did deem her fit for surgery. However, during the surgery, she suffered multiple strokes which left her brain in an irreversible condition. She would be a vegetable the rest of her life.
Mom was an organ donor. So, on that Friday, we had to wait on the team to fly in from Florida for the surgery to harvest her organs to save others’ lives. Our family was allowed to remain in the room with her until they arrived.
There I stood, beside her, watching her breathe but trying to convince myself she was gone. Those moments beside her bed in that TSICU room as well as walking Mom to the operating room were the hardest and most excruciatingly difficult moments of my life. I cannot properly express the grief I felt as she was wheeled down that hall. I wept as those operating room doors closed separating me from my Mom for the rest of my life on this planet. I wept as I watched her go in that room still breathing, wondering if there still could be hope. I wept that my kids would never meet their grandmother in this life.
I never want to go through anything like that ever again.
But I got through it. I survived it. I soon began to laugh again and I can smile when I think of the good memories of my Mom. I can find joy that my kids have a great Mom who is providing them with great memories. I can still weep over the separation of not seeing my Mom alive again during my lifetime and be OK.
You know, I never doubted what God was doing – not one time. I trust Him – he saved me and is transforming me: how can I not trust Him? I do not understand all that God does and why, but I am not designed to think as God does. I am not God and never will be. I am a creation of God who is finite and weak and wicked without His miraculous and wonderful intervention.
But God, in his grace, has given me a message to share with you.
Here’s what you need to do right now – today. If your mother is still living, call her or go see her after you read this column. Tell her you love her and appreciate her for all she did for you. Hug her for changing your diapers. Kiss her for doing without so you wouldn’t. Gush praise upon her for putting up with you as a teenager. Tell her how much she means to you even now.
You ought to do this right now. You know why?
BECAUSE I CAN’T.
Don’t waste another moment. Time is too precious. If there is tension between you and your mom, make it right. Forgive her. Ask for her forgiveness. Time is slipping away even as you read this. What I wouldn’t give to talk to Mom on the phone or give her a hug or introduce her to her three grandkids or thank her for raising me!
At Mom’s funeral, I laid a rose in her coffin before it was closed and sealed. But it is so much better to give those roses while your mother is living.
Scott McCullar is pastor of First Baptist Church-Carbon Hill and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (205)924-4145.