When we made it to Fort Pierce, Florida there were a mingling of feelings. We were all very relieved to be together with our Dad. It was a bittersweet moment as we embraced him, thankful to be with him, yet so filled with sorrow knowing why we were being reunited a month earlier than planned. We were all doing our best to put on brave faces as we held back tears.
The time stretched on for far too long even though only minutes passed before we were headed to the hospital. Even though I knew that God was holding Mom, dread literally filled my heart as I imagined what the next few hours were going to be like, let alone the next few days. I believed that God could heal her but I also knew that sometimes it is best to let others go home to our eternal home, Heaven. As much as God had been preparing me personally for such a time, I felt as though the floor was starting to crumble beneath my feet.
When we made it to the hospital we had to show our ID’s and get our pictures taken for security reasons due to the domestic violence issues in the city. Only two people were allowed to go up to Mom’s room at a time. Since none of us were there right at the beginning of Mom’s admittance to the hospital, they made an exception for all of us to go up together for our first time. We silently followed Dad through the halls that seemed like it would go on forever. Tension filled the waiting area as we were the only family present. I had to remind myself to breathe as the world started to spin.
Two at a time, we took turns going into Mom’s room. When it was my turn with my husband, Jeremy, I knew walking in that my Mom was in a state that she never wanted any of us to see. She had the normal life support tubes and a drainage tube on top of her head to help drain the fluid buildup in her brain. The left side of her face was still limp. Monitors were everywhere and the nurses were never too far to care for her.
At this point there was no more being brave. Tears that had been held back for several hours were now dripping down my face. I searched for her hand in hopes to grab it and feel some sense that she knew that we were there. A part of me was scared to touch her due to my fear that I would hurt her worse. Her chest moved with each breath and every now and then, a small movement from her leg or arm would make me hope that she would be able to move normal again.
I am not sure how long we were with her but it seemed like an instant and forever all at once. Jeremy and I talked to her as if she could hear every single word. I remember telling her that it was so good to see her and that she looked beautiful even on the hospital bed. She never opened her eyes. Her lips never moved. And all this time, deep down inside me, I knew that night that there would be a time soon that I would need to tell her that it was fine for her to go home to Heaven; that it was okay for her to go meet her baby and all those gone before her; and finally run into the arms of Jesus.
But we still had so much to do. There was a huge part of me that hoped for a little more time with my Mom. I hoped beyond hope to be able to see some beauty beyond the damage to her brain. I hoped for no more sorrow. I hoped to see the light in my Dad’s eyes come back again. I prayed that this would not destroy us, for it felt like we were in a whirlwind and there was no knowing when it would end.
Before falling asleep that night I asked God, “Please show us the beauty in this. Please help us. We need you.”