Everything happens for a reason. I’m a firm believer in that credo. I marvel at the timing of things in my life. Even one of the saddest moments in my life, the passing of my Mom, had beauty in the timing. I refer to this as the Lord’s timing. Others may consider it a gift of karma or coincidence. Regardless, the timing of those final moments with my Mom were as perfect as the circumstances allowed.
To understand those final moments though, you must look at the weeks building up to them.
I was 27 weeks pregnant with our second child when I first went into preterm labor. During my hospital visit, my doctor ordered me to be at home on bed rest. At this point, I was working full-time and my Mom was the caregiver to our eldest. My Mom also lived with us, as we suspected our time with her was limited and she would need additional care. Within two weeks of being home on bed rest, my Mom began to become confused and disoriented. In short, her final days were drawing closer.
Keep in mind, I should have been at my job working full-time during her final weeks. But I wasn’t. I was there to give every ounce I could, while still being mindful of the risk I faced of having a premature baby. In less than three weeks of me being put on bed rest, my Mom came home on Hospice. This was completely unexpected for us. She had just received a surgery that was supposed to buy her additional time. Instead, it robbed us of projected months with her.
The days following her return to our home on Hospice were filled with heartache and bewilderment. Yet that final night came to pass as though we were in a play and every person had their cue. The timing was astonishing. The eve of my Mom’s passing was the only night where my eldest brother and my sister-in-law were able to spend the night. They were fortunate enough to have her Mom watch their three children that night. It was in the wee hours of the morning that my sister-in-law came in to inform me that my Mom’s breathing had changed to that of agonal breathing. She is a nurse in the Pediatric ICU at a children’s hospital and, sadly, is all too familiar with the sound of a person’s final breaths. My other brother and future sister-in-law (at the time) were quickly called. We were worried he wouldn’t arrive in time. It wasn’t until he did arrive that we understood why she hadn’t let go yet.
One of the first things a Hospice Worker will tell you when they meet with you is that you have to tell your loved one that it’s okay for them to die. It seems so surreal, but it’s true. People who have to knowingly face their death oftentimes wait for the green light from loved ones. During our time with my Mom on Hospice, we had all given her the green light. It seemed so silly to do so since she barely comprehended our existence. She was in and out of consciousness constantly. But, we had all said it was okay for her to go. All but my brother who had just arrived.
Once my brother and my, now, sister-in-law had arrived, my Mom was gathered around by all of her children. My brother was faced with the difficult task of letting her go. My heart aches reflecting on these final minutes with my Mom. Within the hour of my brother’s final goodbye, our Mom passed from this life and returned Home.
This all happened minutes before our sleepy two-year-old would cry for us from her crib. It happened on the Sabbath Day, a day that my Mother honored. It happened with her being surrounded by all of her children. It happened with our second child still safely in my womb. It happened in the Lord’s Timing, or rather perfect timing.
There is no “good” time to lose your Mom or anyone for that matter. There can be beauty though in the timing we are afforded. My brother was approaching his wedding and I was approaching the birth of our second baby. Surely, this is not a time that you want to lose your Mom. Our daughter was born six weeks early and within three weeks of my Mom’s passing. To this day, I still look at the timing as a tender mercy. My Mom got to meet our precious baby before we did. They got to meet one another in their perfect state. Not only that, my baby girl gave me additional purpose to keep moving forward. She offered the hope of knowing that joy can still be had. Blessings can still exist. We can still be happy. She was the literal and physical example that life goes on.
I’m not certain how my brother feels about the timing of losing our Mom in regards to his impending marriage. However, I’ve always respected that he changed all of their plans and chose to be married in Tahiti. A place where the only person in attendance that they knew would be my Mom watching from above. I’m grateful that she got to witness their wedding without pain or confusion but with all the love and happiness she could bestow upon them.
Timing is a marvelous thing. I have seen the magic of perfect timing happen in regards to an eye surgery for my baby girl, a job offer after month’s of hopeless searches, the sale of our home, my very own life being saved as a toddler, the starting of a blog, and the birth of a child. There are countless ways that our lives have been blessed by the Lord’s Timing.
Again, whether you see it as the Lord’s Timing, or something else, everything happens for a reason. Sometimes it feels like things will never come to fruition or perhaps they will come to pass when we hoped they wouldn’t. Ultimately though, things happen for a reason. It makes the bad times easier if you look for the blessings in the timing. It makes the good times brighter when you do the same and realize how good you really have it.
My goal right now is to not be so fearful of things that may or may not happen. I can only do the best that I can. If pitfalls are supposed to happen, then I will strive to find the silver lining in the timing. If opportunities are to be had, I hope to be smart enough to act upon them as soon as they’re presented to me.
In my effort to share the perfect quote about timing, I found that there are many avenues of life that rely on the concept that timing is everything. I couldn’t decide if that was true or not, so I discussed with my husband on the matter. His response was spot on, “Timing is not everything, but the ability to act when the time comes is everything.”
He referenced the opportunity and timing that was afforded him to move out to California to be with me when he and I lived states apart. The timing was right, but he could have easily done nothing with that timing. The same could be said for my Mom’s passing. I was provided the time to embrace those final weeks with my Mom, to make the most of that time. And I did. Those final weeks with my Mom are filled with no regrets. I cared for her, laid with her, spoke with her, and cherished every moment that I could. So, timing is everything, IF we act on it.
As a follow-up, I had readers express some interest in seeing my husband’s insight in the form of a printable reminder. Here you go!