Josie and Mom
May 2009 - When she was young, one of Mom's best friends was her cousin Josie. For a time they were raised together, they snuck out the window to go dancing together, yes, they were even flappers together!
This week, at age 98, Josie joined my Mother with our heavenly Father … they are cutting a rug, enjoying the music, reliving the memories and discussing the good times they had during their wonderful lives. Rest in peace girls.
Our family had been living in New Zealand for about ten years, we had sold our business and I was working from home, developing computer databases. We owned a thirty-eight foot sailboat and kept it at a nearby marina but really didn't have much money to spare.
Around February sometime I told my Wife that I had a strong feeling we needed to make a trip back to the States to see my Mother who was living in California. My Sister had told me Mom was doing okay and had just been seen for a physical, which had turned up nothing out of the ordinary.
I could not explain the feeling but I felt very strongly about it. So strongly, in fact, that I was convinced we had to go. One look at our finances told us we couldn't afford to go but that didn't deter me.
After much discussion and not a little disappointment, we decided we had to sell the boat in order to make the trip. That is some measure of the certainty of my thoughts; that we would sell a prized possession that we both enjoyed, in order to make the trip.
It didn't take very long to sell the boat and we soon left for LAX. On most of our trips to the US, when we first arrive we usually stay with dear friends Susie and Rick who live near Anaheim. This time, my Wife and I became very sick, probably something we picked up on the flight, so we stayed in Anaheim for a few extra days before going to my Mother's home. We didn't want to subject her to what we had and Susie and Rick agreed we should stay.
After a few days, we felt better and proceeded to Mom's house. We were only there for two days and then Mom came down sick. She complained of a chest cold which was similar to what we had. We took her to the doctor and he gave her some medication to aid breathing and some antibiotics. We felt guilty that we had brought this with us.
A few days later, Mom was on the mend so we decided to rent a car and travel to see our friend Mary in Colorado. The trip took a couple of days and we had been at Mary's house for three more when, one night, I got a call from my Sister in California. She told me Mom had been taken to the hospital, more tests had been made and she was diagnosed with cancer. I told her we would leave in the morning and be there the next day.
When we got to the hospital we were told Mom had lung cancer, they would start chemotherapy right away but it did not look good. Soon we found that Mom had possibly three months to live.
We spent the next nine weeks with Mom, reliving memories, driving her to a few of her favourite places and most of all, saying good-bye. All too soon we had to leave and return to New Zealand.
I remember saying good-bye to my Mother, I held her and said; "Thank you." She thought I was talking about letting us stay with her or possibly the something she had done in the last couple of days. She said: "Oh, I didn't do anything, you are always welcome." I said; "No Mom, thank you for my entire life!" She understood, we held onto each other for a while and then we parted for the last time. We both knew it would be the last time and that made it all the more sorrowful. Few things in life are harder to do, but then, few are given the opportunity.
Two weeks after retuning to New Zealand my Sister called to tell me Mom had passed away.
So what or who was it that had made me want to go? What drove us to make the trip that we could not have known would be necessary. It was and is not a mystery to me, I am positive I know. It was a loving God who knew what would be and who allowed me to say goodbye to my Mother.
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