It has been just over a year since she came down to visit.
(Mama and I - August 2009)
Thursday evening, my dad and I loaded up to head to Amarillo to spend some time with Mama. We finished our drive on Friday morning and got to the hospital around noon. We were both worried that she wouldn't recognize or remember us, but to our surprise, she did! She called us both by name and was so happy to see us.
(Mama and my dad, her baby.)
(Mama and me)
She even recognized the kids from a video message I brought with me.
My dad and I enjoyed sitting and talking with Mama for quite a while. The rest of the Amarillo clan showed up after lunch and I was happy to get a picture of everyone with Mama.
(Left to right: My dad's brother Gary and his wife, Doris. Dad's sister Cathy, Dad, my brother, Jason, Cathy's husband Willie, Cathy & Willie's daughter, my cousin Angie. Then there's Mama, of course.)
Saturday morning, Mama was scheduled to be transferred to a rehab facility. Before the transfer, my dad, my brother, and I sat and talked with her. She wanted us to tell her some stories, so we talked about a trip that Jason (my brother) and I had taken, by ourselves, to see her and Papa when we were little. We talked about things we remembered about Papa - she really enjoyed talking about Papa (he passed away over 20 years ago). She misses him dearly and quite often would mention that she knows he's waiting with Jesus to receive her into heaven.
While visiting with her at the rehab facility on Saturday, all of the sudden she started singing, "When we all get heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!" There's so much peace is the face of passing when you know exactly what will happen. Amen? That's what Mama would say, "AMEN!" We prayed together a lot, read the Bible together, and confirmed our love for each other and Jesus. And all the while, Mama would shout, "AMEN!"
Although it makes me very sad to realize that Jesus may be calling her home sooner than we all had hoped, I have such peace knowing that Mama is ready. She talked a lot about it. Mama is such an example to us all. She knows her time here on earth is limited, but she spent so much time in these last two days concerned about the fate of the people around her. And I'm not just talking about her family. She was concerned about the nurses and hospital staff, wanting to be sure that they knew Jesus. She has touched so many people while here on earth and I know that Jesus won't call her home until all her work here is done.
Mama has certainly lived a life worthy of the calling and all I can hope for now is that when I grow up, I can be just like her!