Tag Archive | Death

Mom’s House

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Last night…. After work … I decided I should run over to Mom’s house to check on it…especially after the ice storm we had over the weekend.   My Brother went back to Chicago on the 30th of December and when he left….
He turned down the heat… shut the lights off and set the Alarm system….and closed the door behind him!

No one has been in it since then.

Mom passed away on the 13th of December.  I knew in my heart this would be her last CHRISTmas here with us, but really thought we would have her at least through it….. but life has a way of throwing us curves.   Needless to say the month of December…. Including  CHRISTmas and New Years …. Has really been a blur.  So much happened in that relatively short period of time and when I think back on them it seems like a lifetime ago.

On the way to Carthage…. I called my brother to let him know I was headed that way and if he got a call from the Alarm System….it would more than likely be a false alarm.    Alarm systems and me have a love/hate relationship.   I almost think they are more nerve racking having them than not having them.   I reaffirmed the code with him as well as the “magic word” to give to the person on the other end of the line of the call we may or may not receive….I then proceeded to my destination.
I stood outside the door of my Mothers house…. making sure I had the right key….. and then turned on the flashlight on my phone in order to have all my ducks in a row before opening that door.
Door open…. and the please enter code jumped to attention….. buttons pushed….. and now… that mechanical voice told me the Alarm system is now officially…. off!

After the alarm system was successfully deactivated…..and I had time to breathe…. I am not going to lie….

I cried.

I began walking through all of the rooms…. each one stirring up specific memories.    The first one was no welcome from Mom’s little dog that is now living at my house…. but the memory still flickered across my mind.
The next one…. turning the corner into the living room where I knew in my heart and in my head that I would not be seeing her curled up on her little love-seat with her coffee and blanket wrapped around her and QVC on the TV.

I Cried…. again!!!

I continued my journey through out the bedrooms…. kitchen….. and then down to the basement….checking for things that might have looked out of place.   Coming back up from the basement, I grabbed one of her cups she got from one of her many stays in the hospital and watered the few plants she had.   I checked the windows …. ran water through the faucets to make sure nothing had frozen….and to run the “stale” water out….. checked the timers…. and…..

I cried some more.

The house…….It was so quiet!    It felt cold.    It felt lonely.     It felt empty.
Although…..I have been in houses where no one was home or that were empty before… none of them were  …. MY Moms house!   Such an un-explainable thing….. and something I think I can honestly say I have ever really never experienced before.

I gathered a few things that I was going to take with me.   I Shut the lights off…. Locked the door …. sat the alarm…. then closed the door behind me. I left Moms house this time ….. feeling …. very unsatisfied with my “visit”.

On the way to work this morning…. I was talking to my oldest son about going over there last night.
I told him how strange it was walking in to that house for the first time… by myself…. without Mom… or my Brother… or my boys.    After awhile, we agreed that the house no longer will ever be the same …. NOW…. It’s just that…. A HOUSE.

The HOUSE ….. the same house that only a month ago was full of life….. is now just a shell of that life that once lived there    The life….. are now memories…. memories that are now kept deep inside our minds and our hearts.    The laughter that rang through the walls of that HOUSE….. are now something we will hear only with the inner ears of our hearts…. or on a recording of days gone by.   All of the past CHRISTmas memories…. Are now relived in the pictures we have on our phones, or in a picture album.   The good times… and the bad times…. will forever now be tucked away…. Inside us…..But never forgotten.

I then said…. It kinda reminds me of  when a person passes away when we go to the funeral home.  We go … only to visit the “shell” of the life that once lived there.   The memories….of that person…..are now kept deep inside our minds and our hearts.    The laughter that rang through the walls of THAT house….. are now something we will hear only with the inner ears of our hearts.   All of the past memories we had with that person…. Are now relived in the pictures we have on our phones…in a photo album or in our hearts.   The good times… and the bad times…. will forever be tucked away…inside us…. But never forgotten.

Houses…. things… can be replaced.   There is no life in them on their own.
People…. Family…..Friends….. Relationships…. are truly irreplaceable!

Life…. is a cycle.   Hard to truly understand until you have lived through those cycles of life!
Here today… gone tomorrow.
James 4:13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

But…. gone for a Christian…. is not really gone.   It is a relocation!    Our bodies becomes older…. tired and weak….. year by year…. and eventually… we will all relocate ….. somewhere!
If you are a born again Christian and have made Jesus your Lord and Savior ….. then the Bible tells us we will relocate to Heaven and live forever with our Heavenly Father!

2 Corinthians 5
For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.
We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

My heart….. although still healing from the sudden loss of my Mom…. is comforted by the hope I read in my Bible.   My moms house will remain empty…. and as we sort through things…. will become more and more empty.   We will Remanence while we see…. touch … and feel our way through her things.  We will laugh….. We will cry…. holding on to those memories we may have even forgotten through out the years and making new ones as we do.
Someday…. new memories will be made in that house with a new family who will move in.  Maybe they will be a newly married couple…. maybe a couple who are starting their family with a newborn baby to coddle.    Maybe… a retired couple who will spend their last years in the comfort of all the unique nooks and cranny’s built into that cute little house.   No matter who moves in….. they will make their own memories….some good….. and some not so good.    No matter what kind or how many memories they make…. they will never replace our memories….. and that gives me hope in the cycle of life…. once again.

I love my Mom!
I miss my Mom!    But…. one thing is for certain…..I know where my Mom is….. and….I will see my Mom again…. in her new home…. Heaven!!!

E……Is For Endings…… Lesson 3

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The Letter “E” is our next lesson in the series of T.E.A.R.S.

A few words that could draw a tear are:
Endings….. Emptiness…. Embarrassment…… Enemies…. Enduring…. Evil…. Eviction…..Exasperation….. Excluded…. Edification…. Encouragement…. Exonerated ….

The word Emotions itself begins with “E”
Happy Emotions…. Sad Emotions… Excited…..Mad…
Emotions can grab us out of no where sometimes… and how we “react” to them can vary.   Me?…. well I seem to have an abundance of tears in reserve and it certainly
doesn’t take much for the floodgates to open and flow freely.

Endings ….however…. is the E word I felt God wanted me to use.      If…. there is a beginning … there will always be…. an ending!
Example…. movies.   I really don’t like to got to watch a movie in a theater very much….. oh… I like the atmosphere…. the fullness of the surround sound that seems to go all through you…. and of course… movie popcorn with extra butter!!!   What I don’t like about it,  is it really doesn’t matter if it is a love story… action film… or a cartoon…. I almost ALWAYS cry at some point in the movie!  And if it is one of those real tear jerkers… you can only imagine what I look like when the lights come on when you don’t even leave the house to get the mail without Mascara and Eyeliner.   If you still don’t get the picture…. lest just say…. “it ain’t pretty!”

I remember when my son was younger, his favorite movie was Air Bud.   We must have watched that movie a 100 times…. and yet…. EVERYTIME he yelled at Buddy to go away….. and then threw the ball so he could run back to the boat…. leaving that sad little dog just watching …. wondering why he was left…. I BAWLED….. even though… I KNEW in 5 minutes he would come strolling in on the basketball court.  And then lets not forget the ones that had really sad endings…. like My Girl…. or The Green Mile!   Lets just say… I was glad I was home… behind closed doors and windows and next to the Kleenex and makeup remover!

Embryo    (Because Babies doesn’t start with the Letter “E”)
New born babies make me cry too!!   There is just something about those sweet little things that just touch my heart and apparently my heart is attached directly to those darn tear ducts!
Their beginning…. will begin to set off a continues stream of beginnings…. and …. endings.

As Mommas…. we are totally wrapped up in those little ones’ life!   When they are happy…. we are happy…. when they are sad…. we are sad…. when they cry… yep…. we cry!
When they go off to school…. Kindergarten…. we cry…. for their beginning…. but at our ending of those precious toddler years.

When they graduate from High School…. We cry…. at their beginning of being an adult…. but at our ending of our nurturing role as a parent.

Then they get married…. we cry…. at their beginning of a new role in the adult world of husband and or wife…. but the ending of being the only woman possessing their heart.

….. and when they have their first baby….. we cry…. at the beginning of their parental status…. and the ending of yet another closed chapter in ours.
Beginnings…. and …. endings… bring lots of tears!

Another ending for some of us has to do with Divorce.    Our beautiful…. happy ever after dream beginning…. ended in a ugly…. night mare ending.  I shed many tears during the nearly 2 years of struggling to keep my marriage from ending in a statistic.  I prayed…. confessed…. believed…. and tried to be who I thought he wanted me to be, only to find out that once I was there….. it was never satisfactory to him and to me…. well… I had almost forgotten who I really was.    So…. I filed for divorce…. and now… I found myself… “Estranged”…. “Empty” and “Exhausted”!

But …. God never left me.  He walked me through ever step.  Even when I felt like I was a complete failure and was a disappointment to Him… He would remind me through things like a song on the radio…. words from my child….or even a TV show.    I remember when I was having a super bad night… and Touched By An Angel was on.  Andrew (the death Angel) was preparing to take a woman home who was dying in an alley.   The camera panned to his face and as he was telling her… he was looking me in the eye and said… God wants me to tell you… He loves you very much and He is not disappointed in you!!   Oh my!!!   God touched my heart …. which we recently concluded has a direct connection to my tear ducts … in a big way!

And of course…. Life…. if life has a beginning…. Life has and ending…. which we call …. death.
Not all of us may go through some of the previous “endings” I have talked about …. but everyone of us will at some point in our life …. experience the ending of life of someone we love.

Our family had a streak of deaths for awhile in the ’90s.   One of those was my dad.   My dad… suffered with prostate cancer for almost 2 years and the last few days were extremely hard.  The last day of his life seemed to be the longest for all of us… as he experienced many hours of extreme pain…then some kind of a seizure….. followed by a stroke…. and then he slipped into a coma before he took his last breath.

The tears I shed…. was for the ending of his life…. a life cut way too short … in a very cruel… cruel way!   A life… that would no longer be there to share in all of the joys…sorrows…. the beginnings and endings with the rest of us.   But…. our ending…. was only his …. beginning!!   You see… just a few months before he died… he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior!!    So his beautiful beginning of everlasting life with our Heavenly Father…. ended…. his pain … his sorrow… and his suffering!

Ecclesiastes 7:8 AMP
Better is the end of a thing than the beginning of it.

Revelation 21:4
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain anymore, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.

Isaiah 25:8
He will swallow up  death (in victory; He will abolish death forever) and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the reproach of His people He will take away from off all the earth; for the Lord has spoken it.

 

 

God’s Analogy to Me about Death

Condemned[1]Death is a hard thing sometimes to wrap  our heads around …. whether we are a Believer or non-believer…. we always have questions.

Non believers will play the blame game to try to cope with the unknown or the unfairness of it all.  They will blame themselves….blame others…… And of course… Blame God!!

If the blame game does not fit in there scenario… They will justify a death ….if it is a young child they may say things like… God needed a flower in his garden….or God has another angel in heaven!

With believers it is sometimes a different story….we will struggle with our faith and our belief system….. wondering why our prayers were not answered in the way we prayed.

Does God not care?   Did God not hear my prayer?    Was my faith not strong enough?   Was there Sin un-addressed ?  Questions upon questions that just does’t seem to have the right answers that will satisfy our longing to know the truth.

Several years ago… I begin going to a Spirit filled Bible study.   I learned so many new things about the power of God…The Spirit of God… The Holy Spirit… The Will of God…..And I was Baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues!

One of the things that was opened up to me through the Word of God in that Bible Study,  was the fact that sickness was not from God…. nor was it His will for His people.    That was something that I began to hang on to!  I heard story after story of miracles that had happened and that began to build my faith up in the power of God!

Our Bible study teacher came in one day….and after many months of praying for her own mother …. And even after taking her to a few healing services…. she told us that her mother passed away.  Being so new in my faith…this began to really try to shake my faith!   How could a woman of such powerful faith not even be able to keep her own mother from dying?!?

I began to ask God to Show me and help me to understand how this could happen!   I knew it wasn’t God’s will for her to die ….but if she died anyway ….how could that happen?

God… Gave me an analogy that has helped me ….and others …and I hope that it might help you as well..

He began by giving me a picture of my home.   He said ….you know your home needs to be taken care of… You need to make sure you patch holes in screens ….in framework.  You paint …you seal …,and you spray periodically for rodents and pests.  You do the best you can to keep it in good shape.

But…Once in a while…we may get a pest….a fly inside ….and all though it is a nuisance ….we can get rid of it with a little determination, patience and sometimes some skill.

Other times however, we may find ourselves with something a little more destructive…. like termites.   If we find out soon enough that we have a problem with termites…it is usually a fairly easy fix… But… If we are unaware for some time that we have had the problem …it is more than likely they can ..and have ….spread throughout the house and have done some major damage to much of the foundation and supports of our home.

After some evaluation we may be given a few scenarios on how to address the problem..  More than likely we are going to find out that in order to salvage our home…. it is going to take a lot of time …..a lot of patience …a lot of diligence…. and… a lot of money to replace and restore all of that which the termites had gotten in to.  It can be fixed… It’s just going to take tenacity to keep at it!!

Sometimes… It just makes more sense and easier to condemn the house ….and move on to a new one.

Then he said now look at your physical body.

You need to take care of your body… Eat right… exercise ….take vitamins and supplements.   You do the best you can to keep it in good shape.   Once in a while even… We may get a “pest”….something like catching a cold.    Although it is a nuisance ….we can still get rid of it with a little time and patience.

Sometimes… However… We may end up with something more destructive….like a cancer.    If caught soon enough ….with a little treatment ….determination ….and time ….it can be taken care of and we can be healed completely.  Other times… By the time it is found … it has done some major problems by spreading throughout our system.   It is going to now take a lot of time… A lot of money… A lot of patients…a lot of determination…..in order to get through this.   It CAN be fixed… Healed… It’s just going to take a lot of determination… A lot of tenacity… A lot of perseverance… To hang in there and see it through.

Sometimes… However… we get tired of fighting.   It just seems easier…. more beneficial…. to condemn this house… This body… And move on to a better …new body …the one that is waiting for us in heavenly places.

Death…to a Believer… Is not defeat!

Death… to a Believer…is simply moving on to a bigger … better…. newer place!!

Although…. its still not easy to lose anyone on this side of Heaven….It has given me a lot of peace…. knowing…. that it has nothing to do with whether my faith is or isn’t strong enough… their faith was or wasn’t strong enough…or whether someone “missed the mark” somewhere.   They ….WE….are the only one fighting the inside battle…. and They….WE… are the only one who is able to make the call on either fighting the battle… or condemning the old house… to move on to our mansion in the sky!

 Philippians 1:20   For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. 21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. 23 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me.24 But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. 25 Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. 26 And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.