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Here’s to you, Mom!

Jan Smith – 01/01/2008
On New Years day, Joanne and I visited my mom. She turned 97 years old on December 3rd. She is in poor health, living in a nursing home in Aurora, MN. Mom with Jan and Betty

My youngest sister, Betty, was there with her husband, Terry.

Mom is suffering from quite advanced dementia. She probably didn’t know for certain who I was.

Betty, who lives the better part of an hour away (that’s when the roads are not snow-bound), goes to the nursing home to visit mom every day! In spite of having done that for over a year, Betty believes that now mom doesn’t know who Betty is; to mom Betty is probably just some nice person who comes to see her and help take care of her.

But here’s the deal: in early December, Betty called to say that mom had pneumonia. The staff at the nursing home, who see this frequently, said she likely wouldn’t live more than 3 weeks at the most. That was about 5 weeks ago.

Mom keeps on keeping on. She sleeps most of the day, but she is reasonably comfortable. (I mean, at 97 you just naturally have a few aches and pains.)

I felt a combination of sadness and joy when it was time to leave. That was very likely the last time I will see her alive. My sadness was for things that were, but will never be again. I will never again taste one of her pineapple-raisin cookies. I can no longer ask her advice. She will not knit another sweater for me. And so on.

But my joy for my mom is impossible to suppress. I know where she’s going. She knows Jesus as her Savior and Lord. So very soon she will have a new body, without pain; with eyes that see clearly; she will never die again – she will outlive the stars! She will be where everything is always new and perfect, and she will have eternal fellowship with the Creator of the universe. How could I be sad when that is about to happen to her.

I remember so vividly how mom would sing as she did here chores around the house. Day after day, she always seemed to approach life with a song. Now I recognize that as an example of what Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians: ” And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord”. What a great example of how to live one’s faith.

Thanks for all the things you did for me, mom. I dedicate this first-ever blog entry to you.

Love, jan

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