The Day Time Stood Still: Part 2

It had been an unmerry little Christmas just 3 days before. And the weekend before that, Moma had asked Daddy to take my younger brother and I to the next town over to pick out our own Christmas present. A small one. Christmas was slim pickings that year, as we were still struggling to pay on the medical bills left over from Moma’s cancer treatments.

She had been diagnosed with malignant lung cancer shortly the year before and had been given only a year to live.

I’m glad my parents told us the truth. It helped prepare us instead of waking up one day with a parent suddenly gone and not understanding why. It didn’t magically make things all better, but at least we got to enjoy what little time we had left with her.

My aunt who lived next door had become my Moma’s caregiver during school hours. At this particular time, school was out for Christmas Break. And yes, it was still called that.

There were few retail stores around my hometown back then. My aunt graciously agreed to stay with her long enough for us to go..

I chose a bottle of Charlie cologne. I can’t remember what my brother chose.

*************

The next day after we had made that trip to the hospital into the bitter cold night, family started showing up at the hospital. Dad had used the hospital pay phone to call a family member with a home phone, and they had spread the word. I don’t remember every person who came. I do remember the preacher was called.

That night, I had just stepped out of the room so he could pray with Moma. My sister-in-law also left the room shortly after I exited into the hallway. As she opened the door, I glanced into the room and saw them praying. Moma who had been in a coma up until this point, was conscious and raised both hands into the air with a lively, resounding “Thank you Jesus.”

If there is anything I learned from that moment, it was that number one, God is so merciful! He is not willing for any of His precious children to die in an unrepentant state. No matter how far we get from God, if we call on Him, He will be there to forgive and save us, even if it’s a death-bed prayer.

My Moma and Daddy had stopped attending church seventeen or eighteen years prior. And had stopped living for God. Moma had gotten her feelings hurt by a church member, so she stopped going. Daddy tried in vain to get her to stay in church, but when he couldn’t talk her out of it, he backslid, too.

Somehow the sight of Moma making things right with the Lord filled me with great inner peace that night. Although I had not been raised going to church and definitely had not been saved yet, it was my desire for us all to go to Heaven together someday.

My sister-in-law asked me to go home with her and my middle brother for the night. They lived 30 minutes away in the next county. My younger brother stayed with another family member. I knew I could not spend another night in a straight-backed chair. And the truth was, I did not know if I could handle seeing Moma die.

Sometime late in the night, after I had fell asleep at their house my brother woke me and told me Moma had passed away. I was in shock as I got dressed and rode in the backseat of their car on the way back to the hospital. I didn’t cry. I found it hard grasping the reality that Moma really was gone. I didn’t want to believe it.

I can remember looking out the window up at the stars in the sky and feeling as numb as numb could be, as we rode in silence. When we got to the hospital, we were told the morgue had already picked Moma up, and the family had gone on to our home.

My middle sister didn’t make it in from Texas in time to say goodbye to my Moma. Going to the hospital, she discovered Moma had already passed. She broke down crying there. When she got to our house, her eyes were red and swollen from crying. We all hugged and sat around for a little while. I finally went to my room and slept for what was left of the night.

The following day our family made the arrangements. I’m not sure if the wake was that night or the next. I know that it was the most devastating thing I’ve ever been through. Seeing my mom lying in a casket was too much!

One of my 10th grade teachers had called my three friends I hung out with at school and let them know. They all showed up. They really didn’t understand what I was going through, nor did they know what to say. They could only say they were sorry.

The funeral was pretty traumatic for me, as if watching my Moma die a little every day up until that point wasn’t enough. I had told my family I wasn’t going, but changed my mind last minute. When I got to the casket, I collapsed and a different sister-in-law caught me before I hit the floor. She helped seat me on the front pew in the church, where the funeral was being held. I could not contain my emotions. A dam had burst inside me, and the river of tears flooded over the banks of my broken heart. I could not stop crying.

The graveside service was even worse for me. There’s something so final about a casket with your loved one being lowered into the ground.

I was unconsolable after that. I spent most my time in my bedroom crying.

Within the week, the Lord gave me a dream. I casually walked into the living room and there was Moma sitting in a wooden, straight-backed chair with children playing all around her feet. I stopped abruptly in surprise.

“Moma, what are you doing here?!” I said.

She looked up from watching them play with the biggest most beautiful and peaceful smile on her face! She didn’t speak any words aloud to me, but I heard them, nevertheless, through my mind. “ I love you baby. Everything is going to be ok.”

I woke up. I knew the Lord had let me know that she was at peace now and wasn’t hurting anymore. I would not call her back for anything! That part comforted me. I wish I could have said the same for myself. It would be a long, four grief-filled years before I could get through the day without crying or imagining that I could still see her lying in her bed, wasting away to a sack of bones.

91 comments

  1. Wow… That sounded hard. I’ve only lost 1 person in my family to death but I was 6 or 7 and I was to small to understand what happened. But if I lose one of my grandparents now I don’t think I’d make it. Especially if I lost my papa… I can’t even think about losing him… I think I would lose it. I hope that day never comes…

    Liked by 1 person

    • V, I hope that day never comes for you either! 🙏🏼 Praying you are spared from that kind of pain! I’ve lost many people in my family. Both sets of grandparents. Both parents and a stepmom. Both in laws. Lots of aunts and uncles. And lots of elders I have known throughout my life. I can’t count the many funerals I have attended. It’s very sad. 😢

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s horrible! I’ve had elders in my life pass away but I’ve never went to a funeral. So the first funeral I go to will probably be a close loved one’s. That’s one of the reasons I think I won’t handle it very well.

        Like

      • I guess that’s why my Moma always took us with her. It never scared me because of this. I know not all parents agree or would do this, and that’s ok, but she wanted us to know that death isn’t something to fear for those who are right with God. It was a homecoming for them. A reward for their hard labor and toil on this old earth. That’s one of the things I don’t fear to this day….When it’s my time to go. Death is a hard subject to talk about, I know. That’s why it was hard for me to post these. I know some people can’t handle talking about it. I hope none of my friends have to lose anyone any time soon, but actually we are not “losing” anyone. We will see them again some glad morning! And oh what a reunion that will be! I also have a brother in heaven. He got killed 2 years before I was born. So I will have a brother to meet there!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Our parents never took us to funerals. Which has it pros and cons to it. Right, we will see them again! It will be a great reunion. My mom had many miscarriages so I will have so many siblings in Heaven. About 7 that I know about but I’m sure there probably is more. I think it will be such a awesome feeling when I get to heaven and I get to see all my siblings.💕

        Liked by 1 person

    • It was very painful back then, but you know, I try to remember all those precious moments spent with her, and they always “outweigh” the bad! It helps to know that those going through grief right now will see the light of day one of these days. You will Lisa….It don’t mean you will EVER forget your honey, but the pain will gradually go, and you will have peace and his memory will always ALWAYS live in your heart!
      I can still remember my Moma’s voice after all these years and the smell of her perfume! Love always stands the test of time! I’m here if you ever need to talk.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, my. This truly touched my heart. I have experienced some losses in my life, but not yet my parents. I know the pain must be like no other. But, wow, what a comforting dream God gave you! He is so faithful! Thanks for opening your heart to us here. Blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Today is my father’s birthday. I was with him when he passed away 11 years ago. He trusted in Jesus a little over a year before he passed, so I know he is in heaven.

    Your story is very touching little sister. One day you will be reunited with your Momma.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh Renee , I feel your pain so deeply . I may not have been a child but I watched my dad slowly pass from cancer around the time of my first child, he was able to see her to 6months and just as he was getting even worse he told me to say goodbye and leave the hospital and enjoy my daughter and smile. The hardest thing to do to walk out of that room. So hugs my friend . I can’t imagine being a child and going through that. Sad thing my mom passed 6 months after .. life is hard.💕😞

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Renee, I know how hard that was to write. When I shared about my PawPaw passing it took me hours because I kept remembering things and then I couldn’t quit crying. Just as you though I know where he is and I wouldn’t for the life of me want him back here.

    You are blessed to have had that time with her even though knowing one is going to die doesn’t really ease the pain. But the intentional moments spent with them are that more precious !

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Stu, yes! It was very hard, especially the tough parts. I’ve had to write a little and quit for a while, write a little and quit again. I started before Christmas. That and being so stinking busy! I know you writing about your Paw Paw was very hard, too. It has been healing for me. I know for you, too. And I am so very thankful for the time spend with her. The times she asked me to climb into bed with her and read the Bible to her. I also read a Christian book to her that a cousin had brought over. It was about the adventures of a missionary couple who had great faith. I had never read a “Christian” book like that before. It touched us both!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Renee, your words take back to the passing of my grandmother on my mother’s side of the family. She had survived two open heart surgeries to replace a faulty heart valve. Her health and strength had returned, and we were blessed to have her with us. Then one day, she was suddenly gone. I had never experienced such grief.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s very hard to go through Richard! The “suddenly gone” part is very hard to go through, because you feel like you didn’t get to say goodbye. Sorry you have known this kind of sorrow. I know you have precious memories of her still tucked in your heart. What a reunion we will all have with those we love some day!

      Like

      • Yes, my parents died when I was young but it was kept as a family secret until someone in the family told me. I locked myself in the bathroom, cried and made several attempts to hurt myself. I was under 14 when I found out. It is well. God has satisfied my longing for parents. He is the best father and mother.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so sorry you lost your parents so young and had to find out that way! 🤗🙏🏼 I know that had to have been so hard on you! Jesus is our everything. He will be whatever we need Him to be—father, mother, lawyer, healer, friend and so much more all through the years!

        Like

    • Grief is so hard! I know you know all too well the feeling. 🙏🏼 I was thinking of you today as I was driving my hubby to a post-op appointment and prayed for you! Sorry I haven’t been able to check on you here lately. Things have been busy. I hope things are well with you my sweet friend! PM me when you get a chance! 💕🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady. I see her smile in you. I hope you will share more of the story…the next four years. Thank you for sharing this, I know it takes courage.🤗💓😊

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I felt all the pain in your heart as I read both of these posts. Your attitude of praying for you mom to be out of pain is remarkable, especially at the age you were at the time of her passing. I know the pain of losing someone so precious. I’ve lost my mom to a major stroke, my dad of alzheimer’s, my aunt to brain cancer and 2 grandchildren to SYDS and other complications. This was all in the last decade. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and I know your mom has been looking down from Heaven on all your family for all these years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are welcome, Lisa. I don’t even have the words to express how much your kindness has spoken to me! They have brought tears to my eyes! Thank you so much! The thought of my mom looking down on me and my girls and grandchildren that she never got to meet… 😢 from heaven is a great comfort to me! I wanted her to stay, but couldn’t be selfish to want her to stay in those conditions. I’m so sorry you know all too well the pain of losing several family members! I pray for peace and comfort in the midst of your grief.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Renee. Death of loved ones makes us stronger I think. A similar Godly thing happened to my mom. She was in hospice for 5 days after her stroke. Kept hanging in there in a medical induced coma. A couple came from the Church of Christ in Dallas. I went & picked up my aunt & brought her to the hospital. We had a small church service in my mom’s room. Sang hymns and said prayers. She passed away the next morning. My sister and I believe she was waiting on that closure. I believe she looks down on all of us. I believe she is up there with my grandma and my granddaughters. 🥰

        Like

      • Lisa, I think it makes us stronger, too. I also think we all need that closure when it’s our time to go. We need to know that we are ready and have let those we love know we love them if we can.
        What you did for your Mom was so priceless to her, her very own church service, praising the Lord! Some people don’t realize, but a person still has their brain capacity when their physical body has shut down. Their soul is still there, till God calls them home. They can still hear and comprehend what is going on around them. Most times they can’t respond.
        I know we will see them all again! ❤️⭐️🎶

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I really enjoyed your story Renee, (part 1 too). Your mom was a beautiful lady. When people criticize death bed repentance, I always remember Jesus on the cross next to the thief on the cross who repented. Jesus told him, he would be with Him in paradise. God’s mercy endures. This was such a powerful story. And your dream was amazing! Your mom is rejoicing with Jesus. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • Each thoughtful comment here on these posts have brought tears to my eyes, Dawn. It’s truly been healing for me! Thank you so much for your kind heart!

      I feel the same way about deathbed repentance. God has so much more mercy than we Give Him credit for. His agape love is much deeper than we can fathom. He will not turn away from any of His children. He loves us THAT much!

      I have read other stories of people having dreams like that, speaking without any audible words. Heaven is going to blow our minds!
      We will be filled with the fulness of God that passes our human knowledge!That reminds me of a scripture:

      “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the LOVE of Christ, which PASSETH knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the FULNESS of God.”
      ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:18-19‬ ‭
      Now THAT is amazing grace!!!🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re very welcome! I’m thankful to hear the comments have helped bring healing. You just reminded me that many years ago I had a dream. There were two angels talking to one another but there were no audible words. However they seem to understand each other perfectly. I’m wondering if that’s how it will be in heaven. I love the verses! Thank you! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes thank God for healing! 🙂 He continues to amaze me!
        It’s got to be girl! There are too many people who have experienced this! No audible words…Won’t that be awesome?! I wonder what else there will confound our human thinking?! 🙌🏼💕

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Renee – thanks for sharing your story! I love how you said you would not want to call her back from heaven – ahhhh
    And posts like this remind me that heaven is out true home and it helps me continue to grow in the fact that a heavenly perspective is what anchors and ground the Christian –
    We embrace our life here for an abundant love to be had and enjoyed loving people and leading the life god has called us to live –
    But we also grow more and more in what it means to have heaven to look forward to
    And your momma will be in your welcome team when you arrive/
    And that dream you had was wonderful!
    And condolences for your loss –
    You told this part of your story beautifully
    ❤️🙏💙

    Like

    • My apologies for being so late to respond to this comment. It was in my Spam folder. I can’t access that from my phone app anymore for some reason. I found two of your comments in there. I hope that was all! I promise I never intentionally ignore comments. So, so sorry!

      You are so welcome. I hope it gives some hope that we are never alone, our loved ones memories will always live inside us. We have heaven to gain some day! –our true home. Yes, I believe that heavenly perspective is the anchor that grounds us! We will have a wonderful welcome team to get caught up with some day! You know, we can’t even grasp how wonderful that it will truly be!!!
      Thank you so much for your sweet words of encouragement and condolences. I hope today treats you well, and the weekend, too!!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi – to be honest – I do not really keep track of replies – and maybe a few times I have wondered a while back (not with you) but it might have been a specific type of comment that needed a reply – something like that.
        and so no worries about not getting back to me – if I ever do need to get a reply – I will either come back around or I will drop you an email.
        and with that said – thanks for rescuing me from spam.
        it still puzzles me why my comments go there – but I kind of don’t care anymore. I am getting a little tired of the online glitches.
        but I digress…
        -0-
        🙂

        and thanks for your sweet reply here…
        Renee – I just love the way you wrote this:

        You know, we can’t even grasp how wonderful that it will truly be!!!

        and may we all get more and more excited about the wonder that awaits us ….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Yvette! That means a lot!

        I know it’s happened so many times with me. I would hate to think anyone thought I was ignoring on purpose. And please send me an email if you do need a reply. I will get to it eventually. I sometimes don’t get to reply as fast as I would like.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes – healing up from a winter cold and today was first productive day in a few days – so thanking God for that! Among many other things to be thankful for 🙏💕

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have chronic sinus problems, but I have to say that this has been the first mild winter for me in almost 4 years! I owe it to other people’s prayers! It was nothing to be sick every two weeks with sinusitis in the past.

        My hubby has always been like yours, as far as colds go. Other health problems not so much. But all in all, we are still blessed!

        Like

      • Have you ever tried the “Neil med” bottle sinus rinse?? Oh Renee – it is something that rescued me and I have told many many folks about – just recently a girl from India finally got herself a bottle after I raved about mine and after one week she said she breathes better than she has in years – and for me – it is just a god send – check it out – they sell them everywhere

        Liked by 1 person

      • I started out with the Neti Pot which is terribly messy and hard to use in my book. I have a SinuCleanse nasal wash bottle that I used for a while after my sinus surgery. I can’t explain it, but the water seemed to be staying trapped in my nasal passages. When I would lean over hours later, the salty water (not nasal drip) would drip out making a mess on my face, the floor and my blouse… It also made me sound like I was congested when talking. I may try it again to see if it was just problems left over from the surgery itself… 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

      • The bottle sounds like the one I use – and maybe there are different ways to use it.
        I think I mentioned that my sister was using her Neil med sinu rinse bottle (when I was visiting her last summer) and I realized i did not use mine like hers and now I do and like it even more
        So experiment and see!
        And as you know – let god lead!
        😉

        Liked by 1 person

  12. What a beautiful woman your mom was. What a beautiful memory you have of her praising God before she passed. These kind of posts are hard to write and much harder to let go “out there” I appreciate what I’ve read. Love ya sis

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for that Amy! These kinds of posts always hit me out of nowhere! They have been God-moments for sure! It really is hard to put them out there. I didn’t even realize that I needed healing, because it’s been years since I have thought about these moments. God always has a way of knowing what we have need of and when.

      Moma had the most outgoing personality, smile and outlook on life. She never met a stranger, and loved everyone. I always wished I could be that outgoing! I am more like my dad.

      Thank you so much for reading. I love you big sis! :🙂💜

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s