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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Art of Living

I have invited my Mom to share a part of her life that has been very difficult and yet rewarding at the same time. She is in the midst of honoring her mother's ultimate wishes, which has proven to be quite a task in these last few months, weeks, and finally days. Please pray for my mother and grandmother as my grandmother awaits her Heavenly invitation and my mother enjoys the final moments of their relationship here on earth. These are my mom's reflections:

Over the past nine days, I have been sitting at the bedside of my mother who is living the final days of her life. As I watch and pray, several things have stood out to me.

Developing and maintaining a relationship with God our Creator, Jesus our Savior and Lord, and the Holy Spirit our constant guide and helper, is the most important relationship we can cultivate.

There is no substitute for a team of loving, caring people at life’s end. Whether they are close family members or health care workers, tenderness and a willingness to tend to your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs cannot be overrated.

Time appears to little children as something that takes “forever” to tick by. As children turn into adults, time begins to pass very quickly. As people approach midlife, time flies by so quickly it appears that the “things” we believe we must accomplish may not come to fruition. Finally, at life’s end, time appears to stand still. It becomes our enemy because we so want to celebrate the beginning of new life in heaven with Jesus and our loved ones who have gone on before us.

All people need other people. There is really no such thing as a “loner.” God made us to serve and support one another. The love, care, and prayers of others is of utmost importance during difficult times. The relationships we cultivate and the people we lovingly serve throughout our lives become the legacy we leave behind.

Nothing takes the place of heart-felt laughter during trying times in life. It is so important not to take oneself or those around us too seriously. A guffaw coming from deep in the belly is very healing to a hurting heart.

We come into and go out of the world with no earthly treasures. All material possessions that we store up over our lifetime have no meaning or worth and the end of our lives. Those things we have held so dearly are not necessarily held so closely to those we are leaving behind. In fact, those stored up possessions can become quite a nuisance to family and friends.

The direction the toilet paper is placed on the roller, putting the cap on the toothpaste, and the manner in which the towels and washcloths are folded really doesn’t matter. Allowing the small things to frustrate us steals away our joy. Listening to the birds early in the morning, feeling the soft breeze blow across our faces, noticing the ladybug on the rosebush, and stealing a long look at the face of a sleeping baby brings peace, comfort, and joy to our souls.

Being able to remember these simple thoughts when life once again speeds up is my personal challenge. I so want to leave a legacy of love and care for others. This, for me, is the act of living a successful life.


Mary said...

Dear Pam, Everything you wrote is SO true! Please know that your mom and you are in my prayers. I'll be praying for comfort and peace for your mom and strength, contentment, and hope for you. Love, Abby

Anonymous said...

Hi Pam,
Please know I read your thoughts and understand. People and God's Word are the only thing that lasts forever. It has been my prayer that my family and others can relate and know what is most important to us. Things ARE NOT.
Your mother is blessed to have you there with her during this time. I like your servant heart.
Thanks for all you did for Dad while he was there too.
We will continue praying for you.
Love, Carol

signingcharity said...

Thank you Lori and Pam for sharing this. What a blessing. Prayers being said for all of you.