My Mama May 26, 2014This is my mama, Patricia (Pat) Voss. She died on Saturday, April 12, 2014. I have wanted to blog about that day ever since it happened, but it is just so emotionally hard for me to do. However, I am going to try and with the help of the Holy Spirit I will get it done.
It was around 3:30 in the afternoon when I went back over to the home to sit with my mama. My sister (Mary) was still there and my papa left soon after I arrived. I didn’t think my sister would stay as she had already been at the Home for a couple of hours and had been in town all day. She had her cats to feed and I figured she would be leaving. I am so glad that she didn’t.
We sat and talked. After an hour, we decided to play a game of cribbage. It was a game that our mama had taught us when we were young teenagers and it had been one of her favorite games. Mary jokingly said that we would go to hell for playing a card game while our mother lay dying. I responded that mom would be glad that we were together doing something that she had once enjoyed.
As we played the game we continued to listen to the staggered breathing and death gurgle that came from our mom. Mary mentioned that she had a song running through her brain that she knew mama liked and that would be appropriate for this time. Mary said that it was the old spiritual, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” I began to sing the chorus and Mary joined in.
Reader, you need to realize that Mary was brought up in good churches and knows Jesus is her Saviour, but has not attended church since she became an independent adult. So, it was a great surprise to me that she wanted to sing spiritual song. A surprise and an even greater blessing!
When we finished singing the chorus, Mary mentioned another song chorus that would be good to sing. She couldn’t remember the name of it; just a few words. It was, “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks.” I sang the first verse and when I got to the chorus, Mary sang soprano and I alto. Mama opened her eyes which had been shut all day and looked at something above her. Mary asked her if she saw the angels coming for her that we had been singing about. Again we sang “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and we finished our game of cribbage.
Mary was drawing a line down her score-sheet, when I looked at mama. I don’t know what I saw or heard that caused me to realize that this was the end, but I said to Mary, “I think this is it.” Mary thought I meant that we couldn’t play another hand of cribbage and stated that she thought we had enough time. I began to rise from my seat and said, “No, I think This is It!” She looked over at mama just as I got to the bedside. Mama took one last breath and slowly let it out. We timed it and forty-five seconds passed before she took the last exhale as her soul departed for Heaven. I instantly called my husband Jerry.
Mary and I hugged each other and cried. I went to get the Home’s C.N.A. and Mary felt for any pulse on mom’s wrist and neck. The nurse and my sister used the stethoscope and heard no heartbeat. We called the rest of the family and the nurse called for the Hospice RN to come and make the official “call” of death.
I don’t know how many deaths have been as peaceful and blessed as this one. I was present for the death of my mother-in-law which was very peaceful. But I was so blessed to be a part of the “home-coming” for my mama. It was filled with so much love, sweet music, peace, and joy. Mama was finally free from all her pain and I know that when I see her again, she will be in her perfectly glorified body.
II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man (human) be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”