A Sad Day Has Arrived

My sweet mom has decided it’s time to sell her house. She has accepted the truth that she will never live again in the house that she and my dad shared for almost thirty years after his retirement. He died, went to his much better home in heaven, in 2012. Mom learned to live alone and did quite well for almost five years.

Her decision reminds me of the book Necessary Endings, that quotes, When truth presents itself, the wise person sees the light, takes it in, and makes adjustments.” Mom has been doing that her whole life, and modeling well for all of us watching how to adapt as time, places, and people change. And we’ve watched her continue to trust God in it all.

She’s now 92. She walks around with her burgundy, four-wheel chariot, which doubles as a chair or a tray for transporting things from place to place, on the same floors she once learned to walk on so many years ago. And yet it wasn’t that long in God’s economy. He says our life is but a breath. Sometimes it feels that fast.

Today I’m at the farm for the week, enjoying her company, hearing what she’s been reading or watching on TV. We will drive to her house in town once or twice this week, and I’ll empty drawers and make piles of things for Goodwill and piles for my brothers and piles for some of our kids.

The things I am most interested in keeping are those with meaning like the nativity set Mom bought at the Ben Franklin five and dime in Crown Point in the early years of their marriage. Prominently placing all the figures just so on top of our piano was my favorite Christmas decorating task every year.

During my first year on staff with Cru, I lived in South Carolina and worked at the university with students. My mom had never been there, so she and my grandmother and my dad, always up for a road trip adventure, piled in their car and drove from Texas to see where I was living and to do some exploring. While in Charleston, my mother and grandmother both bought signed prints from a local artist because the prints reminded them of their years living on the farm in south Arkansas. With that print hanging in my bedroom, I’ll remember with great fondness those days in Charleston, one of my favorite cities in America.

The wisest man who ever lived famously wrote, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to break down and a time to build up,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3). Though this seems a sad season, and it is in moments, God is in it all. He has promised to never leave or forsake us, so He is with my mom in this season and He is with me in this season. And one day, unless Jesus returns soon, I will be in her place, my kids helping disperse things they remember from their childhoods. And heaven will be brighter and a more welcome place because I will know so many who are already there.

Today I am savoring these days with Mom, knowing we will enjoy life forevermore together with Jesus.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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17 thoughts on “A Sad Day Has Arrived”

  1. God bless you both. My mom is 96 fell and broke her hip. She lives with us now. God has provided everything we need. She built a granny flat on my property and rents her house out to supplement her income. It can be challenging at times to have your parents live with you. Thankful God has done exceedingly abundantly more than we can imagine.

  2. While this time comes with some sadness, it is truly a blessing to have a parent make their own decisions regarding their care and their belongings. It is really a gift to you and your family. You will be able to know exactly what here wishes are, instead of having to wonder if you are doing what she really would have wanted. You and your family will be able to focus on the precious time you have left with her and know that she lived the life she wanted.

  3. Thank you for your post. I just closed on my mothers house today! She is 99 years old. She was just put in a memory care unit at an Assisted Living Unit in March. She lived by herself up until two years ago. When her memory started to decline. We had to get rid of everything in her house and her car. It is hard to go through everything she owns before she is actually gone. But God has provided for all her needs. Her house sold in one day and was not in the best condition. He provided the Salvation Army to take part of her furniture and Someone to haul the rest to the dump. God has been with us and her through this downsizing process. He really does take care of Widows. He will provide for your Mom and her needs.

  4. I’m so glad you wrote about this on your blog, Barbara. Ken just moved his mom down to Little Rock last week, and she moved into her little apartment at Parkway Village yesterday! Thankfully she saw the need and the wisdom in making the move, but she is having a rough time right now. I think reality has set in for her. Where is your mom moving to? (You can text me.) I will be praying your your dear mama, and for you as you help her navigate new and different waters. I love you, my friend. ❤️

  5. Barbara, thank you for sharing so beautiful with us your Mom, and what both of you are going through as this transition is made. I totally am there myself. My Mom reaches 92 August 13, coming up very soon. She moved up to be closer to me and my husband in 2014 after my Step-Dad passed in late 2013 It has been a blessing to have her so close and to be with her a couple times a week since she moved here (she’s in a very nice independent living community…didn’t want to live with us out in the country because she “wanted to be where the action is!” God is so faithful if we allow Him to have access to our hearts to prepare us for these times. It isn’t easy to make these transitions, but it is a part of a beautiful life when one knows his or her ultimate destiny and that we will be reunited with them again in our forever home. Praise God He has given us these promises and we aren’t left wondering. Praying for you as you go through this process with your Mom.

    God bless you and give you both amazing time together and much peace in the process,
    In His Love and By His Grace,

  6. You are both beautiful…..makes me miss my Mom who is gone 11 years now….my Dad is gone 40 years. I had the blessing of taking care of my Mom for the last seven years after she took a fall and her wonderful health changed… We had precious time together. Some of my regrets are not taping her voice and asking her questions about the memories, family, etc. that I thought I would always remember….but it is getting fuzzy now. I did most of a Mother’s Book with her asking questions about her life but we didn’t finish it. But when I miss her, I read the book and it helps me. I also finished a Christmas tablecloth this year for my sister that my Mom had started the cross stitching and hadn’t finish it. I gave it to my sister two weeks ago when she was visiting from Colorado. I felt soo close to my Mom when I was working on that tablecloth and it was VERY special to me to do it. Cherish this special time with your sweet Mother. It is a treasured blessing in life. God bless you. Your radio broadcasts have nurtured my soul for many years…..Thank you for sharing your faith with us.

  7. My mother is in her 90’s, too, so I can relate to so many things you described. I appreciate the many insights and verses that you shared, Barbara – it helps so much to know that others are going through similar things in life. I pray for my mom every day, and visit as often as I can with our geographic distance – God takes amazingly good care of her, as I know He will for your dear mother.

  8. How blessed your mom has been to live through so many different stages of her life. Wishing her the best in her next stage. My mom is 94 and lives with me. I’m an only child, the only time she has lived alone was for 6 months when my family and I moved from NJ to SC. May your mom, you, and your family continue to receive all of God’s love and blessings.

  9. How radiant and beautiful you and your mother are!

    Thank you for this wonderful post. These seasons of life come with mixed emotions for both parents and children. Your wise and graceful mother has given you a great gift by making this decision while she was able. Enjoy the sharing of memories as you help her pack her things as she moves on to her new home.

    God Bless!

  10. Thank you for sharing. It os beautiful to see that your focus os on God and seeing the beauty in each season although it can be sad, but you know in the end you will be together in Gods presence. How confident we can be about our future when we stand with the Lord.

  11. Dearest Barbara,

    Barbara, thank you so much for sharing this story about your beloved mom. My dear momma went to Heaven on Jun2 2, 2012 at age 97. Our family cared for her during her last year of life.Upuntil 2011, she was energetic and independent, able to live alone. I was with her until the end and my Lord allowed me to see her in her shining beauty as her skin shined like sparkles and her face looked 20 years younger minutes after she left this world. She had been quite ill for 10 weeks and had lost her color and weight was down to 55 pounds. But God… ever so gracious allowed me to see her amazing beauty before I called her hospice nurse. What an awesome God we serve!!! I will be praying for you as you prepare her home and assist her as she makes these changes. May our Lord help you and her throughout this transition. I will be praying for you, Barbara. Love and hugs, Jo 7/5/2018

  12. This is quite touching and emotional. May God give you the strength as you face this sad day. You have very prefound memories of your mom. Jesus may not come back quickly but sure that she has just gone before us and you will join her in God’s glory.

  13. What a blessing that she made the decision herself. It was so very hard for us to ask our Mom to move to a facility. We knew it was the best for her but she really didn’t want to go. We all prayed with her and she did calm down. Within days of her move, she forgot about the move from her home of 54 years. The Lord was with her in the move, in her stay and her homegoing. Praise the Lord. I’m sure it will be with your sweet Mom.

  14. So touching Thanks for sharing.
    Both of my parents have already gone to heaven and I savor all the memories I have with them. That precious time is more important than any material things accumulated.

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