Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Journey

Yay!  Tonight it is MY turn to sleepover in Mom's room.  We trade spots from bed to recliner.  She sleeps most of the time now - an upgrade in morphine appears to keep her comfortable.  When her eyes are open, they rarely focus on us - in fact, she seems to be looking past us.  We sincerely hope she will soon see Jesus over our shoulder, reaching out to her.   

This is a beautiful 12X12 giant card designed and crafted by grand-daughter Meghan for grandma - presented to her on Christmas Day.  34 love notes were attached inside; a favourite memory or thought expressed by each of her grand-peeps... 
This is a painting commissioned as a 60th birthday present to Mom (a few years ago now!).
I remember the artist sitting down with us girls for a chat about Mom.  She needed to get a sense of her personhood for inspiration before beginning.  We think the end result was mighty bang-on.
At the time - I tried my hand at writing a story about the picture and now it hangs in an envelope behind the picture.  I meant to scan the story and post it so you could read it for yourself, but being next door with Mom for most of every day now,  I am forced to type it all out long-hand....this camera image didn't help much either.  
The Journey
The woman placed her devotional on the table and settled back into the pillows of the settee.
She surveys the garden with contentment, her gaze finally resting on the wheelbarrow by the garden wall.  Yes!  Today she is definitely going to finish the planting of those bulbs.  She pushes the comforter aside and pulls herself up to pick out the curled leaves in the topiary.
The garden is a source of never ending work but she remembers with a smile the feelings of pleasure & satisfaction it brings.  She reaches up to feel the ruffle on the apron... almost dry.
"Time to change" she decides, "and get on with this day."
I hear the screen door close behind the woman as she enters the house.  I look around me at this place so lovingly tended.  I think of the hands that never rest....always a project on the go!
Past the garden wall, out in the horizon beyond, the clouds are rolling back a new day....
Do I see the shape of angels in the clouds?  So subtly God is bringing to mind:  it is His mercies that are new every morning.  The wind blows a refreshing breeze that scatters the clouds; soon the sun will warm my place on the garden path.  My eyes are drawn to the movement of pant legs flapping on the wash line.   The trousers are worn-looking and so oddly out of place in the woman's wardrobe.
They beckon me closer.  I step up onto the porch and see close-up that the knees have been mended often.  Obviously, the woman has had to wear these for a long time.  The apron strings blow up past my face.  My fingers catch the hem.  It too says something about the woman.
The stories of service it could tell!  They would be many, the sound of them so familiar.
My hand comes to rest on the antique shepherd's crook.  
How this woman loves the theme of sheep and shepherd!  I see it suddenly in more places:
the pillow tapestry, the flower pot...
Ancient words play over again in my memory, 
"The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not be in want....Your rod and your staff, they comfort me."  Yes, that must be it!  That is the source of the woman's secret strength.
I have an irresistible urge to tell this remarkable woman how much she is admired and loved.
I hasten through the door and call from the foyer, 

The clock shows 2:22am.  I must try and sleep with one eye on my beautiful Mom.  
Thank-you Father.  Please be gentle when you come to get her.


  1. Written with such grace and love and appropriate admiration. Thank you for sharing your journey. Keep the faith. <><

  2. And we pray that God would wrap you and all of your loved ones in His arms when He comes to take her home!

  3. Lynn said it so well.....went to say goodbye today...not sure if she even knew I was there.

  4. Yvonne Spanninga, Sonja Heeringa and Anita Kamstra Poort like this.

    Patricia Post
    Tell her often and He will be ever so gentle!
    December 30, 2010 at 11:20pm · Like

    Sheila Kamstra ‎
    ....its not far from here to can trust him with your heart...its not far, from here to Jesus (can't remember the singer but it plays in my heart when someone prepares to go home)
    December 31, 2010 at 12:42am · Like

    Diane Bosscher
    Joanne, you have a gift for writing! What a beautiful witness you are in your expressions of faith, and love for your mother. May He care for you and your loved ones.
    December 31, 2010 at 9:37am · Like


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