Nothing seemed to be going right. At that moment, Jesse thought that his whole life was upside down.
My life is a tornado! I just don’t understand. Nothing will ever be the same!
Jesse sat in the bleak hospital family room with one main question on his heart.
His green eyes were bloodshot and their usual sparkle was nowhere to be seen. He stared at the ugly blue vase on the table before him, trying to piece the jumble of the past few days together.
Heaving a sigh, Jesse slowly leaned over and buried his face in his hands. Emily, his wife, wiped a tear from her cheek. She put her arm around him and comfortingly stroked her husband’s shoulder. Emily felt a deep weight in her heart as well. She whispered something in Jesse’s ear, and he reached over and grasped her hand tightly. The two sat thus for several minutes.
The sound of stiff fabric rustling together and footsteps caused Jesse and Emily to glance up. It was the doctor entering the room.
Jesse straightened up quickly and stood, studying the doctor’s face. “Doctor, do you have any news?”
Doctor Wallace examined the two in front of him, taking in their current state of emotions. Jesse, with his sagging shoulders and tousled hair…and Emily, with tearful eyes full of concern and questions.
“Please be honest with us, Doctor Wallace.” Emily hoarsely whispered.
“Well,” the doctor began, swallowing hard. “Your mother came through the surgery fine, and is resting now…But—“ Doctor Wallace paused, not sure how to go on. Placing a hand on Jesse’s shoulder, he continued. “But I’m afraid the infection was there long enough to spread throughout her body, and it’s...causing her system to begin shutting down. I tried everything.” His voice broke as he consoled the couple. “I’m so very sorry.”
Jesse could feel the lump in his throat growing larger and his eyes were stinging. He managed to choke out, “How long does she have?”
“I am afraid Michelle has 48 hours or less.”
The last cord broke within Jesse’s heart and tears ran down his flushed cheeks. “My mother…my mama…” He cried, sinking into his seat.
Emily wept hot tears and hugged her sorrowing husband.
The doctor pitifully watched them a moment before turning and exiting the room, letting them have their much needed privacy.
That really is the least favorite part of my job. Doctor Wallace thought to himself as he walked down the tiled floor, back to his patient. I just hate being the one to break the news of a dying loved one.
“It’s just not fair.” Jesse moaned. “She was fine a few days ago! Still the same sweet mama we love and—“ The words caught in his throat and he wiped his wet cheeks before continuing. “And then she had that fall, and wasn’t doing well, and after going to the hospital we found out her gallbladder had ruptured and now this sudden surgery and—.” The distressed words tumbled out of his mouth. “Now…now she’s going. She’s leaving us. Why? Why does this change have to happen to us? Mama…”
Emily reached out and pulled several tissues from the box on the table next to them. She handed some to Jesse, and blew her own nose. “Honey, I love you. And it’s going to be alright.” She made an attempt to speak. “Keep praying about it. God loves you, too.”
Jesse sniffled and planted a kiss on her damp cheek. Standing, he hurried from the room to go to his dying mother’s bedside in the ICU.
Emily sat limply in her chair for a moment, staring at the floor in deep thought. Lord, give us Your strength. A sigh escaped her lips. Keep shining Your love on us. Emily reached into her pocket for her iPhone, and punched in her password. 1:34 am. I didn’t realize it was so late. She proceeded to group text Jesse’s two brothers and his sister, who were traveling as quickly as possible to get to their mother and the hospital. Jesus, help them to get here in time.
Over the course of the next several hours, the siblings arrived, and the foursome stood together by the bedside of their dear parent. Many tears were shed and prayers offered. Even though Mama was in a state of unconsciousness, they spoke loving words to her, held her hand, and tried to make her comfortable.
Then, the call came.
Fifty-two hours after the doctor broke the heartbreaking news; Michelle passed onto glory…and was joyfully greeted by her Savior.
A private family burial was what she had wanted. Michelle…Mama…was laid to rest beside her husband who had gone before. She was lovingly cherished and remembered at her memorial service. Many caring friends brought flowers, meals, and comforting hugs and words to Jesse, Emily and their family.
And then…normal life resumed; or rather, the “new normal”. Jesse found it extremely difficult coming home in the evenings from work, to find his mother’s room vacant. She will never be there again…I can never speak to her ever again! His heart yearned for her to return. It wasn’t easy to repeatedly answer the question of “Where’s Gramma?” that his three year old daughter, Rosie, asked; while he himself coped with the change.
The changes weren’t over yet.
*stay tuned for part two! =)*