Nine difficult days had passed since the car accident. Although she was still in the intensive care unit, there were reasons to hope my Mom would eventually recover.
It was Christmas Eve morning and I arrived at the hospital early in a cheerful mood, expecting to see her smile. I met the nurse in the hallway and she told me things were “the same.” Not a bad report, given all my Mom had suffered. I walked into the room and our eyes met. But instead of smiling, she started coughing. The nurse yelled for help and within seconds the room was full of people dressed in scrubs trying to save my Mom’s life. a few minutes later they stopped trying. The doctor looked at me and said, “She still has a pulse but it wouldn’t be long.”
So I stood there, by her bedside, dissolved into tears and whispering goodbyes into her ear.
I love you. You were the best Mom ever. And you have a great Savior. He is all you need right now. He’s waiting for you with open arms. I will see you again soon and everything will be better. Good bye Mom. I love you. You were the best Mom ever.
When I was a kid growing up all my friends wished they had a Mom like mine. She really was the best Mom ever–right up to her final breath. My 12-minute tribute to her is below starting at 28:00. Pastor Joe Coffey’s wonderful comments start at 47:35.
Watching my Mom take her last breath has strengthened my faith in Jesus Christ. Everything about it was consistent with all of the Bible’s declarations about the nature of our physical life, spiritual life, physical death, and eternal life. Take a look at your hand, your arm, your legs, your torso. Is this you? Is this what you are? No! You are something that can and will leave your body when the inevitable happens and you take your last breath. I saw this happen right before my very eyes on Christmas Eve and I will never forget it.
I expect to see my Mom again soon enough. She will be smiling again. And so will I. And we won’t be alone there: To be absent from the body is to be present with the Savior (2 Corinthians 5:1-10). When our final breath comes, if He is truly our Savior, He will be everything we need in that moment. He is more real, more lasting than our body ever was.