On Friday, I promised to talk about Mom's visions. Over the past few weeks, she has been intermittently seeing people she knows and has known. Here and passed on. At first, she was pretty frightened by them. She refused to take the pain medication until we ultimately switched medications. Shortly, she realized that they would continue. She remembered each vividly. She awoke to a turbaned "Mandingo" (her words) slowly fanning her with a huge palm leaf. She yelled for him to get out of her room (an action she now regrets). She saw her Grandmother Elsie dressed in anachronistic Native American clothing and hair. She has seen each of her granddaughters at her bed quietly waiting for permission to crawl in with her. She has felt different people get into bed and rub her face or back. She's seen different people standing over her smiling. Sometime last week, she explained to me how interesting the evolution of her visions had become. At first she was scared, but slowly she realized the common thread to all of them. They were comforting. They reassured her. The leprechauns dancing on the stack of pillows weren't there to make her fear. They were there to make her laugh. And so she did. She began to welcome the visions. And the people she saw. She knew that she wasn't going through this alone. There are angels standing post in her room. She explained to Elois and I that she knew why those angels looked like people she knew and had particular recognizable characteristics. "Glenda has just such a peaceful and angelic face. It is comforting."..."Cheryl sings so sweetly."..."No one was as tough as Elsie." She sort of jokingly said to Elois and I (and she was probably talking to both of us) "You know why I don't see you? Because if I did, I would think I was getting bossed."
Yesterday, was an intense but clarifying day for her. It began with visitors. My godparents came to support. Glenda will be here all week to help around the house and deliver her famous New Orleans cooking. We hoped the smell would entice Mom to eat. One of Mom's brothers and her sister also came to town. Cheryl to stay and support; Ronnie just for the day. The amount of people was a shock to the noise level in the house. It has been very quiet in recent weeks, and adding a handful of adults that aren't familiar with the protocol was obvious immediately. Ten minutes after people showed up, I was taking the whole bunch to breakfast just to return the house to some normalcy. With so many people, even whispering turns into inadvertent competition that graduates to talking and then near yelling. While Mom slept the adults had to be closed off into the far part of the house so as not to disturb her. She slept most of the morning and afternoon and into the evening. However, the truly transformative time came later that night. After most of the crowd left (including her sons and their families), she asked her present siblings and lifelong friends not to leave her bedside. She confessed to them that she had decided not to continue with chemotherapy. She also confessed that she expected it to be her last night among us. Mom led prayer and prayed for each of her family members, friends, and foes. She asked the Lord for forgiveness for her sins. She announced to Him her acceptance of His plan. Then came the singing. Ronnie, Cheryl, Mom, Elois, and Glenda all took turns requesting, playing, or singing their favorite gospel songs. I made it back to her house around 11:00 pm. The iPod switching continued until almost 12:30. Mom slowly sunk into her pillow. She asked to keep the playlist on repeat and that someone remain with her. I insisted. As she slept, I monitored her breathing for about an hour. Finally, I laid down next to her and went to sleep myself. I am happy to report that the Lord had different plans for her today. And while none of us may be, and her body might not be, and the Lord might not be, she is ready. She is waiting. Waiting on the Lord.
Mom has touched very many peoples lives and we all feel that it is important to see her and to let her know how much we love her and the effect that she has had on us; however, her energy is extremely limited. And none of us will get the amount of time that we want with her. Especially, the closest to her. She has asked me to help her see certain people that as she put it, "I will go get on a plane by myself and go see them if that's what it takes." As God grants her more time, she will be able to see more people. If you would like to see her, please email or call me with your availability, and I will help her to arrange visits as she chooses, but please respect our protocol, and realize that whether or not you get to see her that she loves you and wants to. Also know that there is a way that she can see your face and hear your voice. Nearly every computer and phone has a camera nowadays. Record a video and link it in your comments here. Her email time is almost nonexistent these days, so emailing me is a much more certain way of getting it to her. Those of you that have so far have really brightened her days. My contact information is: firstname.lastname@example.org (505) 620-0383