I have learned to wait in heavy traffic and at red lights. Most times I am at peace.
I have learned to wait for people at appointments. When people have appointments with me, they often never show up. When I have appointments with doctors or whoever, I have learned to sit quietly. Most times I am at peace.
I have not learned to wait for someone to die, and that is what I am doing - waiting. We hate waiting, because there is much tension between the now and not yet. This is where we are now. That is where we want to be or told that we will be in the future. We are stuck in the in-between. We are now in the line in the grocery store. We want to be outside on our way home. We are now sitting at the red light, but we want to be moving and getting close to our destination, if not actually there. We are now sitting in the doctor's office; we want to be well at home. Part of that tension includes fear. Fear that the "not yet" will not occur.
I have been waiting for my mom to die. At this point almost two weeks ago, my mother was coming home from the hospital. We were told it would be a matter of days. Hospice comes daily to check on my mom. My mother has outlasted people's predictions. What a tension!
Do I want my mom to die? I don't. Do I want my mom to live? I don't. My mom can't speak, and over the last few years has barely spoken. My mom can't move from her bed, and over the years she has come to the place where she could barely even walk. Due to Alzheimer's, when was the last time she even recognized me or even called me by name? As I look at my mother lying there, she is just a shell of what she had been. As I look at pictures of her before I was born, she possessed a life that I did not even know nor did she talk. My mom used to have such "life." I knew about some of her life as my mother, but as I look at the pictures I am reminded that there was so much I didn't know. Now, she is just laying there basically unresponsive. This waiting stinks.
What makes this waiting worse is the joy she will experience with Christ. She knew Jesus. She taught me Jesus. She taught me through words and lifestyle the promises of Jesus. So, I expect that when she dies, she will be with Jesus. What joy! What life! This state of "lifelessness" will come to an end. She will have life to the full - life so much greater than this groaning sinful world could ever offer.
Part of me longs for my mom to live, but not the way she is now. As I sat in the living room, part of me expected my mom of my memories to walk out of the bedroom and say "hi."
Part of me longs for my mom to die. What joy she will have.
But now, we are waiting. Waiting stinks!
P.S. On Sunday morning July 27, I learned that my waiting and my mom's waiting came to an end. She died just before 11:00 p.m. on July 26.