We sit by my mother's hospital bed in shifts. We often wonder whether she will take another breath.
It has been eight days since my mother made her decision to terminate medical care. We thought she would leave us sooner. But she lingers on, with intermittent and often labored breathing. She knows we are by her side.
Music plays in the background. Her favorite CDs on her Bose. Rod Stewart, Mary Beth Carlson. Wintersongs, Lakeside Retreat. Soothing for Mom; soothing for us.
The hospital offers gentle massages and music therapy. We are so appreciative of their care. They ask if there's anything they can do for us. They bring us pillows, food, offer us coffee.
The days pass. Friends and family call for updates. There are none. Still sleeping, we say. Not responsive, merely breathing, pulse steady.
We have been taught that God's timing is perfect, but still we find ourselves questioning. She is no longer with us but in another place, an in-between place, it would seem. We have all told her to go in peace; that we would be okay and her work is done now. We'll take over, we reassure her. We have thanked her for the character and virtues and values she has given us.
Then trust takes over. It is not our journey, but hers. Not our moments with God, but hers. We have had our turn having her with us. We are not in control. A hard lesson for us, but we acquiesce.
We continue to be amazed at her grace, beauty and courage. And we are so grateful to be here to share Mom's last days.
We are blessed.