Whispersfrommyheart's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Mom

When I got out of bed this morning I was in a mood. There was a knot in the pit of my stomach. I was angry. Depressed. I began to read my morning devotion and the knot became persistent.

“What’s wrong with me, LORD?” I wondered. For the past couple of days all I have wanted to do is cry!

“Delicious.”

The word popped into my mind. Then,

“Mom.”

The tears began to fall. “Yes mom.” I whispered, “The weather is delicious.”

I can see her now.

That was mom’s thing. When the first crisp days of fall rolled around, she donned her “Someone Special Calls Me Nana” sweatshirt, soft pants & fuzzy slippers and gleefully made her first cup of hot cocoa. She would take that first sip, lick her lips, and let out an exaggerated, “ahhhhh”! As if that particular cup of hot chocolate was the best thing she had ever tasted. She would look at me, with bright eyes and a smile, and say, “The weather is delicious!”

I’d mumble something to her as I poured my first cup of coffee.
She would then proceed to tell me, again this year, just how much she loved the cooler weather. It reminded her of when she was a child. She would tell me, again, about the old, Appaloosa speckled, plow horse, with hooves as big as dinner plates, she used to ride through the fields. How she would stay outside, all day, until her grandmother would call her in to eat.

She would, once again, giggle as she told me if she wasn’t outside riding a horse, or if the Iowa weather didn’t permit her to be outside, she was inside pretending to be a horse. Her nickname was Trigger. Yes, named after Dale Evans’ and Roy Rogers’ horse. In the morning she would tear her shredded wheat into a bowl – without milk – put the bowl on the floor, and eat it on her hands and knees… like a horse eating its hay. Then, she would gallop around the house, whinnying. Saying things like, “Whoa, Trigger.” Or, “Giddyup.”

Then, as if the channel changed, she would tell me how she helped her grandmother in the garden. Or, picking a juicy peach off of the tree, biting into it and letting the juice run down her chin. Again, she would tell me how she sat for hours, in the crook of a tree while reading a book. She loved to read. The myriad of books that lined our coffee tables, shelves and around her chair, were proof of that. She would tell me, once more, how no one worried about where she was, or what she was doing. They knew, if Margie – that was her real name – wasn’t galloping in the house, or riding the plow horse, she was sitting in her favorite tree, reading.

Later on she would want to go for a ride to look at the trees. One year, after a particularly wet summer, the colors were brilliant. She oohed and awed, like a child, enjoying the beauty of God’s creation in the fall. One year, we drove to Bald Knob Cross to view the colors from the scenic overlook. Of course, the foggy, misty day didn’t dampen our spirits as we walked to the overlook. We both fell silent as we surveyed the expanse of earth from the top of that hill. As a treat we would stop for lunch, or, just an ice cream cone. Simple times. Good times.

This is my first fall without her.

The air is cool this morning. I should go get her canister of hot cocoa and make a cup, lick my lips and let out an exaggerated “aaaah,” but I can’t. I can only cry. The tears fall as I think about her and the things I miss. The sound of her voice. The light in her eyes. Her laugh. Her presence. Her.

My coffee cup warms my hands. I look out the window and let my mind linger on mom. And, even though I have heard her stories one thousand times, I would give anything to hear her tell them to me one more time, especially when the weather is delicious.

I miss you mom.

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(Photo courtesy of Larry Wilson)

I’d never seen Mom so sick in my entire life.  Somehow she had contracted meningitis and strep pneumonia in her blood, and the doctors at John Cochran’s V.A. hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, delivered the grim news to my three sisters and me.   We sat there in stunned silence as the doctor told us that mom was only the twelfth person in the United States to contract these two infections together, and so far, no one had survived.  The doctor didn’t expect mom to regain consciousness, but said she would more than likely slip into a coma and without actually saying it, it was understood that he expected mom to die.

I was devastated.

How could God allow this to happen when He knew how much I needed mom to stay here with me?   She had become more than just the woman who gave birth to me; she was my companion, my confidant, and my best friend.  She had given me support after my divorce, and became a surrogate parent to my three boys.  Because of mom, I had been able to return to work and not have worry about where my children would stay, and how I would pay for it.

It was more than I could bear.

After the doctor left, we began discussing the prognosis.  We were scared, but we disguised our fear with jokes.  Late one night, when my sisters went to the ICU waiting room to sleep, I went into my mother’s room to sit with her.  Mom had been unconscious and thrashing around in bed for three days, and as I sat there watching her; I began to cry and pray; “God, please don’t take her.  I don’t know if I’m strong enough to make it without her.  God, help me to be strong enough to handle your answer.”

Thy Will be done.

When I finished, I remembered I had brought my bible to the hospital and the thought, “I need to read to mom,” popped into my head.  I told the ICU nurse that I was going to read the bible to mom, and she gently warned me, “Don’t get your hopes up, honey.”  I looked at the nurse and told her, “But, I believe in the power of prayer,” and walked through the doors to the lobby.

After I got my bible, I went back into mom’s room and opened it up to Ephesians 1 and whispered the entire chapter to her.  When I was done, I began to quietly sing, and before I finished the first song, mom opened up her eyes and looked right at me!

“Oh my God she’s awake!” I screamed in my head.  At first I couldn’t believe it! She was supposed to die!  I controlled my voice–trying to remember all the other ICU patients–and squeaked out a high-pitched, but soft “Hello!”  I wanted to run and jump, and scream and shout; I was ecstatic, God answered my prayer-and  quickly.  I went to get the nurse and told her mom was awake–but by the time we got back to the room, mom was back asleep.

I felt so good, and after three days of little sleep, little food, and high strung emotions, I felt it was safe enough to sleep.

I was awakened an hour later by the same ICU nurse.  “Is your name Cheri?”  She asked.  “Yes,” I said. (Mom always called me Cheri.)  “Well,” the nurse told me, “your mother is awake, and she is asking for you by name.”  I jumped up from the chair I was sleeping in and ran into mom’s room, but she was asleep again.  So, I went back to the waiting room to lay down again.

I don’t know how long I had been asleep, but the sun was shining when another nurse came into the waiting room to wake me.  “Your mother is asking for all her girls.”  She said.  I got up, smoothed my hair as best I could, and ran to mom’s room.  I’ll never forget the sight that greeted me when I walked in her room.  Mom was sitting up in bed, smiling and talking to my sisters. I knew mom was going to be okay when she looked at me with wide eyes, laughed and said, “Oh, poor Cheri.”  (Making a joke about the way I looked– usually don’t appear in public without perfect hair and makeup.)

Mom left the ICU ward that very same day. Her story circulated the hospital; the hallways, the nurses stations, and even the cafeteria; everyone was talking about the miracle woman, and asking if she was our mom.  Not only did God cause her to survive two deadly infections, her recovery was without side effects from the meningitis!   God miraculously healed her completely, and ten days later, I took her  home.

I remembered to say one more prayer as we drove away from the hospital that day… “Thank you God, you are able to do so much more than I could hope or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20

God sized faith comes in all shapes and sizes. God took my faith, smaller than a tiny mustard seed, and worked a mighty miracle for His glory.  Through that miracle I had the opportunity to speak to an entire hospital about God’s love.

I continue to tell the story of God’s mercy toward my family, and His miraculous power of healing today.


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