Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Wonder Box

People have told me that death can be beautiful. I was not buying it at all — until Sunday.

We decided to have Mom's Minister over to say a prayer. We had about 3 back to back days with not a lot of signs that things were going to improve. Her speech was impaired and she had been sleeping most of the days.

I brought Chase and Blake with me. She was sitting up in bed, lipstick on, crying tears of joy. I was shocked. She had not cried in months. This was a different sign. A spiritual, possibly accepting sign perhaps? These were not sad tears, but tears of joy.

She greeted us with a big, loud clear "Hiya". The boys both giggled and looked at me like I was crazy to have thought she was going anywhere, anytime soon. She went on to tell us that "today was a party — the best day she could ever have planned". I quickly grabbed the opportunity to have her talk to Tyler up in Eugene since their last "good-bye" was not anything really special. Clear as day she said to Ty, "What are you doing?" I could hear Ty reply "I am at a coffee house studying for finals. What are you doing Grandma?" Mom replied as clear as the blue sky "I am going to heaven". She then went on to ask Chase "Will you be my cloud?"

I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing. The Minister arrived and the tears of joy and love and admiration continued. She grabbed the care givers face and told her how appreciative she was of her taking care of her. She turned to me and said I looked more beautiful than I ever had (keep in mind I had not showered for two days and had a stocking cap on)...well, ok...

It was hard to leave her bedside. She physically grabbed my hands that day and held them tight and looked me straight in my eyes with her gorgeous baby blues.

I reluctantly had to go. I took Chase to a meeting and then we both watched Blake play basketball. Blake was also on fire that day. He had a game like no other. We went out to dinner to celebrate him and then I returned to Mom's thinking I would arrive and she would be fast asleep after such a big emotional day.

"You're back!" she said. She was still sitting up in bed. "Yes I'm back. You'll never guess the kind of game Blake just had. Guess how many baskets he scored Mom?" She looked off in the distance then very carefully and clearly yelled with lifted arms "20!". I was flabbergasted.

How did she know he scored 20 baskets? I mean, that is a pretty high and random number. "How did you know?" I asked. Mom looked straight into my eyes and grabbed my hands "Because I am a woman of wonders. You see I am collecting all of these wonderful family memories in a wonder box to give to you". I was speechless just trying to process all of it. Then without a break in her sentence she went on to say "But me, I am building myself an escape box. And I am going to escape right through the top when no one notices" and she lifted up her finger straight above her head as if she was showing me how she would escape.

She grabbed my face and grabbed my shoulders and gave me a kiss smack on the lips like no other and said "I love you. I love you more than anything". And then said "Do you see that little girl?". "Uh...no". "There is a little girl holding a balloon waiting for me." and then she gave a huge smile that never left her face.

I can honestly say Sunday was magical, perhaps even beautiful like people describe. The story continues.


  1. Betsy, your mom is amazing, you are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with all of us.

  2. I'd like to say I choose to surround myself with amazing people — like you!

  3. Betsy, I am in awe and speechless. I always knew your Mom was a special lady and God has proven this to be true. You are an amazing daughter raised by an amazing mother. I wish her a peaceful journey.