Friday, February 19, 2010


I wrote about ordinary days before but today I am appreciating them again. I think we should never take an ordinary day for granted. Yesterday was not an ordinary day. I knew it wouldn't be an ordinary day. What I didn't know was that the day would end with one of those phone calls that breaks into your life and changes everything.

Two years ago we had one of those phone calls. It was our anniversary. We were in Florida celebrating at the beach. A call came from South Dakota with a job offer. That phone call broke into the celebration of the day causing joy for my husband and dread for me.

I hate those type of phone calls.  It is like a sharp discordant sound in the midst of a flowing melody. They break into your life with such violent force. They turn everything in your life upside down. All of a sudden, you have new decisions to make.

I had an interview for a doctoral program yesterday. That is not ordinary. I had to get dressed up and make sure my make-up was perfect. That is not ordinary. I had to appear before people who would judge me. That is not ordinary. I had to make a trip to the airport to pick up my husband. That is not ordinary. Nothing was ordinary about yesterday. Nevertheless I knew these things would happen. The discord was predicable. I could anticipate it and prepare.

The phone call came. It broke in as I was preparing to go the airport. It was a call concerning my elderly mother. My mother took a sharp, unexpected turn for the worse. I was told that family should gather at the nursing home.

I went to the airport. Two children and two grandchildren went to the nursing home. I remember several years ago a similar phone call concerning my mother. She had passed out in the bathroom while I was at church. As I rushed home, the ambulance passed me on the way taking her to the ER. I remember thinking, I'm not ready for this. I'm not ready for her to go.

I am still not ready for her to go. Is anyone ever ready for someone to go? I thought about the ashes. I thought about the reminder of our mortality.

My mother is holding her own. When I saw her, her eyes fixed on my face. When I leaned over to kiss her, her mouth curled in an attempt to complete the kiss. I leaned over to her ear and told her I loved her.

Whispering in her ear I uttered a simple prayer. I didn't ask for healing. My mother desires nothing more than to go home to be with her Savior. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to surround her and give her comfort. Saying Amen I looked at her face. She looked deep in my eyes. I think she knew. I think she knew that God was with her. I think she knew that her family loved her.

Dust we are and to dust we will return - how fresh that was in my mind as I left to let her sleep. None of us know when our ordinary and predictable lives will be interrupted and we will return to dust. All we can know is peace and comfort when we make that journey from this life to the arms of our Savior.

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