Saturday, February 19, 2011

Through an open door

On Monday morning, January 31st, my Mom never really woke up. She communicated a little bit in the morning when she was uncomfortable and told us that by shaking her head yes or no. The rest of the day we got very little to no response. By Tuesday we knew she only had days left. Both the hospice nurse and my Aunt did not feel that she was going to pass Tuesday so the boys readied their bags for when the time was closer and I headed out around 4:00 to pick my boys up and take them to Disneyland. It was the perfect Disneyland day - no lines and nice weather. But for the first time in my life I did not want to be there. On the way over I talked to a friend and told her I didn't feel comfortable leaving my Mom's side anymore and after this trip I wouldn't be leaving again until after she passed. It was so important for me to be there and hold her hand through that experience since I knew she had feared that moment.

We went on the Submarines and my heart felt
heavier. Davis was pleading for Small World and Beckham wanted to go on the Teacups. I promised we could do the Teacups after Small World. About half way through the ride my heart started racing and it became difficult to breathe. The only way I can describe what I felt is to say that I had an overwhelming urge to get off that ride at any costs. I closed my eyes and took deep breaths thinking this must be what people describe as a panic attack. I was thinking of calling my cousin to come get us because I didn't know if I could drive home. By the end of the ride it was not better. I was starting to panic and I KNEW I had to get home right then.

When we
finally got off the ride I threw the boys in the stroller and promised them McDonald's if we could leave without the teacups. They were not happy but I made big promises of ice cream as we RAN to the monorail station. When we got to the top I searched frantically for my phone to call home. There was a missed call 1 minute earlier from my Dad. I called him back and he said, "Auntie says you need to come home right now."

Back at the house right about the time my heart started pounding my Moms blood pressure dropped to around 80 over 48. Her breathing wa
sn't regular and her pulse was over 120 beats a minute. My Aunt grabbed her and told her, "You have to wait for Lisa!" My Dad called our dear friend President Mitchell and he and his sweet wife Lorayne came over. My Dad and President Mitchell gave my Mom a preisthood blessing that she would be able to hang on until her children arrived. My Dad had been inspired to turn her BiPaP machine pressure up and that miraculously seemed to stabilize her breathing more.

I think I made it from the monorail station in Disn
eyland to her side in about 20 minutes flat. Traffic parted, kids cooperated, and I sprinted like a crazy possessed woman but I arrived home around 6:30. I went to my Moms side and thanked her for not only waiting for me but also for warning me.

That will always be one of the most miraculous experiences that I've been through. I know that she warned me that I needed to get ho
me and the minute her heart started racing so did mine. That simple sweet gesture will always serve as a reminder of my Moms love and as a reminder of the connection we had. While we may live in different realms of existence now we are still connected and always will be. I sat with her for a time as her blood pressure and breathing stabilized. Her pulse was still racing but it seemed like she was going to hang on for her sons to arrive.

The best news - she was "comfortable" - in a blissful state beyond pain.

All of a sudden it hit me how much my Mom would want the boys to come say goodbye also. Our sweet Bishop's wife Quenta (who I had fran
tically called on my way home to come care for my boys so I could be totally present when I got home) and Lorayne had fed the boys upstairs and got them ready for bed.

s came down first to say goodnight to Grandma.

He gave her kisses and sang her his favorite song - We are a Happy Family.

I love Grandma, she loves me.
We love Grandpa, yes siree.
They love us and so you see, we are a happy family.

He told her he loved her and said goodnigh

Then it was Beckham turn to say "night night."

He sang her his favorite song - The ABC's

The Hatch family was sweet enough to take the boys to their home for a slumber party and then to school the next day for us.

My blessed Aunt and cousin were there each step of the way and helped hold us all together and understand what was happening. What a blessing it was to have my Aunt, who was a nurse, be the one wa
lking us through the night as things progressed.

Kelly's husband Brian ran errands for us and our
comfort before coming to say goodbye. For their support and patience I will always be grateful.

Mark, Lisa and Kam arrived and were able to spend some time with her alone and Kam was able to wish her goodnight.

Brian was scheduled to arrive around 10:30 a
nd John around 12:30. Around 10:00 her breathing changed and the BiPaP was only inflating her lungs about every 4th breath. Her blood pressure also dropped again to around 80 over 50. We all sat with her as we waited for Brian to arrive, which he did at around 10:25.

We each sat holding her in some way while listened the amazingly peaceful CD created by Kim Reed.
One of the last songs on the CD is the song Going Home and it was playing during that tender time.

Going home, going home
I'm just going home
Quiet light, some still day
I'm just going home

It's not far, just close by
Through an open door
Work all done, care laid by
Going to fear no more

Mother's there expecting me
Father's waiting, too
Lots of folk gathered there
All the friends I knew
I'm going home

Nothing's lost, all's gain
No more fret nor pain
No more stumbling on the way
No more longing for the day
Going to roam no more

Morning star lights the way
Restless dream all done
Shadows gone, break of day
Real life begun

There's no break, there's no end
Just a living on
Wide awake with a smile
Going on and on

Going home, going home
I'm just going home
It's not far, just close by
Through an open door
I am going home

What we experienced and what we felt are too precious to write in such a public setting like this. But there was one moment I did want to share. My Moms eyes had been closed for days but right at the end her eyes suddenly opened wide and her deep brown eyes shone bright and were filled with light giving them an almost amber color. It was at that moment I knew she was seeing the other side of the veil and the light from that world was shining in her eyes. In that moment I believe she crossed from this life to eternal life. It lasted for a few short moments and then her eyes dulled and closed peacefully forever.

Truly she had gone home.


Megan Bartlett said...

Hi Lisa,
I was so touched by this post of your mother's passing. What a special experience you were able to have...actually you were able to have a few special and spiritual experiences. I'm so sorry for what you had to go through when she was slowing slipping away these last months. Isn't the Gospel wonderful? I don't know how people function without it.
Thank you for your Christmas card. It was darling! The reason I checked your blog was because tthis is the only way I know of to reach you! The card I sent to you got sent back to me so I was wondering if you had moved since Christmas of 2009. Could you send me your address so I can update my Christmas list? You can email me at
Again, I'm so sorry for your loss. The blog was well written with beautiful experiences described. I'm so glad you were able to be with your Mom when she passed. What a tender mercy.
I miss your family!
Love, Megan

Susan said...

Thanks for sharing that time, Lisa. It's a sacred experience for you and your family, so I especially appreciate that you were willing to share some of it with me/us. What incredible things you experienced--your mother's love, communication through the Spirit, tender mercies from the Lord to get you all together, delightful moments with your boys and Grandma Silly clear full of love, and precious pictures of you with your mom during that sacred time. Whew! You are strong! That whole experience is such a foreign thing to us as mortals blinded by the veil. I wonder about so much of it, but your family filled it with love. Thank you, again, for sharing. It touched my heart, taught me, and filled me with love.