After my Mum (pictured left with a younger me) passed away, we found her diary. Her diary was, in effect, her short term memory. Every year we would give her a diary or filofax refills at Christmas in order that she would have a diary to write things down.
I looked through her diary, and found that in the weeks and months before her death, Mum had written several times in big letters underlined, messages telling herself to remind me and my sister to make her funeral a happy one, a celebration, full of joy and happiness.
These appeared several times, including one in the week of her death.
She’d not written things like this in her diary before.
In hindsight, it seems almost like she knew that she was in her last days. She had always had great perception and a deep spirituality.
It was almost like now she sensed that her time was almost upon her.
By this time, I was 23 and living on my own, working in London, and my sister was 19 and travelling around Thailand for several months – my Mum had said a big goodbye to her at the airport, which was appropriately the last time her and my sister would see each other.
We had both grown up and become independent, we were finding ourselves and our own identities.
Her job as stay at home mother, bringing us up and looking after us at home every day, was over. She was discovering more independence herself – teaching French in a church school on an occasional basis, private tuition and teaching French once a week at a local Scout fellowship.
She had her church, her friends and was enjoying life, content with who she was and her memory. She had restored her friendship with my Dad, after their marriage had ended painfully several years previously.
She seemed at peace. Almost like she was ready to go home.
As I shared in the first post in this series, the first thing she said to my Dad after her initial asthma attack was that Jesus sent her back. I am now convinced that Jesus had sent her back for a reason. For the purpose of being a mother to myself and my sister, to take care of us. I think she began to understand this too.
Now that job was done in her eyes, and although she had an independent life of her own, she had now had so many asthma attacks that her body was becoming weaker. The next serious attack may well be the last.
This she knew. She was ready, in her own mind. She was at peace and ready to go home.
I often have regretted her early passing and that she never got to see what and who my sister have – and will – achieve and become.
However, in those moments I reflect on this, and realise I am wrong.
My Mum didn’t need to live to see those moments.
She already knew who we would become, what we would achieve, what we would do – and was proud of us for it.
She could see it already, she knew us so well and had so much confidence in us, that she didn’t even need to see it to know it would happen. She had faith that God – and my Dad – would take care of us, and we would take care of each other.
That even if she was gone, we would not be alone or unloved.
Now I picture her up in heaven, walking with Jesus by Galilee, talking about us, about our lives, making sure Jesus doesn’t forget about us, and helping prepare the great celebration that will happen when Jesus finally returns.
She always loved a good party.
To conclude this series, next Sunday, on Mother’s Day, I will share one of the poems written by my mother at the height of her illness, when she was in therapy to deal with her memory loss and coming to terms with her condition. I can assure you, it’s something you won’t want to miss…
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