The Week that Was: Part Three

Seeing the Strength of a Daughter in the Face of a Mother

The first night of The Week that Was was long. We were told my Grandma wouldn’t make it through the night so we stayed in her room, waiting. People slept in chairs, fold out beds, and even against the wall.

And yet my mom stayed up. She sat and watched and waited. She attended to her mother with care and a heavy heart.

As the next 2 days rumbled on, and as Grandma’s condition worsened, we sat in a hospice-like room where we continued to wait. People sat on chairs and couches, walked up and down the hallway, tried to watch TV and think of other things.

And yet my mom sat there, at Grandma’s bedside. Listening, trying to comfort her mother, trying to understand what she was saying, and hoping to have wisdom in how to care for her in her final hours. When she wasn’t sitting by her side, more often then not, she was talking with hospital staff about what was going on, and contacting family members to make sure everyone knew what was going on. I watched with amazement as my mom, who is not known for her physical strength, carried the weight of caring for her mom and being the burden-bearer for the family. It was an honor to watch. It was inspiring to witness, and it pushed me to be a better person in the midst of it all.

Following Grandma’s death, my mom moved from care-giver to administrator as she went from place to place, making calls and answering the phone that never ceased to ring. She was the person everyone needed to talk to, as she did her best to honor her mother’s life in the ceremony of her death. She did it in a way that included other family members, and empowered them to play their own role in all that happened. She did it with compassion for others who were mourning, even in the midst of her own grief.

She has been a rock.

I hope she gets a chance to set her strength aside and to be broken in the presence of God. To know the blessed comfort that comes in the loving embrace of her Savior as she mourns.

But I hope that when I face tragedy, I have the faith and the strength to walk with as much purpose and love as I saw in her this past week. I was witness to an everyday “Woman of Valor” and I hope to walk away with a new reservoir of courage because of what I saw.

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