I received a call on Monday from my Dad. He and Mom (who has been struggling with terminal cancer for the last 6 months) wanted all the kids and our families to come on Tuesday night for one last big discussion so we can all express some final thoughts with each other, knowing Mom had weeks left at best.
Tuesday morning my sister, Julie, called and said Dad rushed Mom to the hospital. She was throwing up blood all night. So we left as soon as we could and got to the hospital in Pontiac, IL at 2pm. We spent a few hours talking with her as much as was possible in her very weak state. She was also hallucinating, though nothing too bad. At about 5pm on Tuesday we took the kids out to get some dinner for us and Dad. After leaving Burger King my sister called. Mom died at 5:15pm on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007. We went back to the hospital immediately and spent some time mourning with many family members there.
We really thank God for getting us to Pontiac to be with her before she died, and to be here with/for my family. I few people who touched as many lives as my Mom. She was more generous than anyone I've every met. I can't think of a selfish thing she ever did. I can't think of a single time when she heard a need with one of us kids (when younger, married, whatever) and didn't act to do something about it. I'm not exaggerating.
My Mom was also a tremendous friend to my wife. Molly has very little contact with her parents, but has been "adopted" by my family. Our wedding was in my hometown because of how much she connected with my Mom and needed that support. My Mom was Molly's Mom, and I'm so thankful for the years they had together. They were very close.
I'm speaking a bit at the funeral, though not preaching. I'm really speaking on behalf of me, my brother and sister. My buddy Jason Woolever will be preaching.
Outwardly I'm doing fine. Inwardly I'm struggling. This is easily the most painful experience of my life. It's also difficult because I may not make it back to our church for Easter. I really want to get back there, but Dad needs some of us around right now. We are playing it by ear. We appreciate your prayers.