Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Fear of Loss

My mom has been sick. Really sick.  She went to Denver to visit my sister and her family and within days she had 102 degree fever.  She hunkered down, hoping that it would pass but her headache became so painful that she couldn't get out of bed. My sister took her to the doctor then the ER and discovered she had viral meningitis.

Those are the facts. The emotions are much more complicated. We got a phone call at 1 AM (no good phone calls come in at 1 AM...) and my sister was telling us that my mom tested positive for meningitis. They didn't know if it was bacterial or viral. We just had to pray. My mind flashed to a commercial for a meningitis vaccine where the mother is stroking her son's hand. He is obviously on life support and she is crying as she looks at his baby pictures on the hospital bulletin board. A sob formed in the back of my throat but couldn't come out. My husband held me. "I can't lose her. I can't lose her." That was the only thing I could say. He prayed with me as we lay in the darkness, waiting for the next phone call.

It was viral meningitis. It would take time but she would heal. It was a huge relief. A massive relief. But this thought wouldn't leave my brain - "Someday I will have to lose her. Someday she will be gone." It was a punch in the stomach; it was a reality I simply didn't want to have to face. Some would tell me that it was too soon to even worry about it. She was going to be fine, right? But I couldn't shake it. 

I prayed that God would help me break free from this. I prayed that He would help me to somehow see the blessings instead of the pain. The next day I read a Guidepost devotional about a man who had buried four brothers. Four. He spoke about hearing his brothers' voices when he watched a great play during a football game. He described feeling a brother slapping him on the back while he cooked in the kitchen, only to look behind him and see no one there. I stopped reading and prayed again. "You're trying to tell me that she will never leave me, aren't you?  You are trying to tell me that I will be with her in Heaven much longer than I will be without her?" I felt a gentle "yes" in my heart and knew that God was reassuring me, loving me, and telling me exactly what I needed to hear.

My mom is getting stronger every day and insists on wearing her lipstick even when she's only awake for an hour. She has started making inappropriate jokes again - This is a sure sign that she's on the road to recovery. But I wanted to share this with you just in case you have lost a loved one or if you are on the verge of losing someone. They will never leave you. They will be waiting for you in Heaven. You will be with them much longer than you will be without them.

Blessings to you on this day!

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