I write this from my mother’s beside in hospice. After Mom was transported to the ER on Wednesday morning, a CAT scan revealed a hemorrhage inside her brain. She suffered hours of extreme pain, but regained movement and seemed to be improving. However, by Thursday morning, it was clear she wouldn’t recover. In the afternoon, she was carried to hospice, where our extended family has taken up vigil.
When we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, our own, or the shared journey of a loved one, the tyranny of the urgent goes to a corner.
Even breathing takes on a different rhythm.
Like the brilliance of the sun on the snow after a blizzard, true values rise up in our clear vision.
What I see astounds me.
If you’ve read my Glimpses for long, you have journeyed with me through some of the long healing process from the scars of my childhood.
Each person in our family has good reason to nurse their scars and protect the wound.
Instead, this week, love has transcended every decision, conversation, gathering. As voice messages pour in from Switzerland and NJ, emails and text messages from Maryland, Ohio and Texas, and anyone in driving distance joins the vigil, it is clear that our “Mommom” is a magnet for us all.
In spite of failings and her own hidden pain, she has loved us. Given us a sense of our true selves. Helped us to be real. (Read The Velveteen Rabbit.)
Mom has four living children, 10 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren who love her, but her greater legacy is the ability to transcend hardships, difficulties, differences, and yet love. To put aside preferences and pride. To seek the good of the other. To laugh in spite of grief, to hug and not retreat. To share the gift of tears.
So we sit by her side, at the moment simply listening to her breaths and watching her chest rise and fall, and savor her presence, her life.
Earlier today, as I wrote out my reflections on her life, I realized that transcendent love sprang from my little brother’s death, sixty years ago, which shook Mom’s world and cleared her vision. She ran to the Savior she’d been ignoring for many years. She’s been running that race ever since.
LOVE in her has become love through her. Reckless, transcendent love.
17 thoughts on “Transcendent Love”
Thanks for sharing …..love,c
Sent from my iPad
Jane, I don’t read my emails or facebook every day so I’m late reading about your Mom. I’ll tell all the AGLOW girls about Mother Jane when we meet on Friday. And also those who knew her at Sunnyside. My prayers are with you and the family. Love in Christ, Shirley Ziesche
Thank you Shirley. I wish I could take Mom to the Friday meeting one more time, but she is at a far greater meeting now, with the Lover of her soul, face to face.
You have had my prayers and they will continue. A Morher’s death is very difficult, I know. Thank you, Lord, we will see them again later. Love to you, Jeanne.
Yes. As I sat by her side I often said, considering the depth of pain I was tumbling through, that I could not imagine how anyone could face this without the hope of resurrection. This is not the end!
Gosh, this is beautiful, Jane. I will be praying for your heart, hers and for the hearts of all those who love her.
Death is always so hard for those left behind. May this comfort you all:
“…but her greater legacy is the ability to transcend hardships, difficulties, differences, and yet love. To put aside preferences and pride. To seek the good of the other. To laugh in spite of grief, to hug and not retreat. To share the gift of tears.”
She sounds like a full-hearted woman. And also gave life to another: YOU.
Hugs to you, friend,
Thank you, Dani, especially for praying for my heart. My mind knows this is a good passage, my will chooses to hold on to that truth, but my heart simply breaks.
Oh, sweet Jane.
Much love to you.
Sometimes –okay, truth here–often– I wish my life were not so dominated by technology, and wonder why everything takes longer than it should, but the Internet has given me you, a precious friend, and that makes up for all the hassles.
Hugs to you.
This brought me to tears. What a wonderful family you have, Jane! I’ll keep you in my prayers,
Yes, Cathy, we gave grown to be Family, love birthed in hard places. Thank you for your prayers.
Oh, Jane. I’m praying for you all.
Thank you. The emotions have been intense, and sleep is elusive.
She always saw the good in me, even when I thought there was none. Never judging, just loving.
She didn’t differentiate between her blood children, married in, adopted…all there to be loved.