I do not know how long ’twill be,
nor what the future holds for me,
but this I know: if Jesus leads me,
I shall get home someday.
– Charles Albert Tindley, ca. 1906
Coming down the hallway one day, I heard my mother speaking aloud. Of course, I was wondering to whom was she speaking. As I came closer, I realized that she was quoting “Beams of Heaven”. Under normal circumstances, it would not have made me uncomfortable but when you are someones’ caregiver and you hear them quoting a song about going to heaven, . .. . yeah. You know where I am going with this.
My mother is 86 years old with a failing heart. An amazing woman who made our clothes when we were younger. With my father, raised 9 children, all of whom went to college. Took care of our bruises, physically and emotionally. Made certain that we never went hungry. Woke us in the mornings. Met us at the door when we came home from school. We were not “latchkey” kids. My mother had after school snack and dinner waiting for us (and I don’t mean prepackaged stuff). This woman took the brunt of our anger when we did not get our way, especially me. Waited with open arms when we came to our senses, no matter how many years it took. It took me 4 years (from 13 to 16) to overcome my teenage craziness but we made it.
What does all this mean? My mother is tired and she is ready to “go home.” I don’t want to be selfish BUT IT IS HARD NOT TO BE. My fathers’ death was sudden and unexpected. My mom has been leaving us for a while now. The roles have reversed and I take care of my mom. We have had the opportunity to learn who we are to each other. This makes up for all those crazy years of butting heads. Now that I know who she is, I don’t want to let her go. But I don’t want to be selfish. I know that she is tired and ready to “go home.” It is never easy to say goodbye to someone you love, especially your mother, but I must because she is tired and ready to “go home.” I don’t want to be selfish . . . but it’s hard because I love her so.