My Mom’s Last New Year

mom-swimEverybody was out in the garage and the street watching the fascinating fireworks in the sky when I noticed that mom wasn’t around. The clock had just stroke 12 midnight paving the way for the new year and we were supposed to be together in one place as a clan.

It was January 1, 2012, about 12 past that Sunday dawn. I looked for her in the dining room of our ancestral home and there she was sitting quietly alone at the dining table, looking sad and silently absorbed.

I knew what she was thinking about without asking her. I tried to comfort her by gently patting her back and sitting beside her. I whispered, “Happy New Year mom!” and she responded with a sad smile.  I just sat there quietly with her, just keeping her company, while the rest of the clan was outside welcoming the new year.

I knew that keeping her company like that was the best comfort I could give, and I saw how she appreciated it. There were no words exchanged between us–just a short moment of silent fellowship which seemed forever–but I knew that meaningful conversation was taking place in our spirits.

What was mom thinking of?

She always thought about it in that strange quietness and with  slight fear in her eyes–that it might be her last New Year’s. She was then 87 turning 88 that March. Her heart doctor had said she could live 10 years more even with a damaged heart (because she was careful about her health) during the last few times we visited him for mom’s regular checkup and together my mom and I had praised Jesus about it.

But there were times she confided to me her premonitions that her time was almost up. I always comforted her about it.

Back to that New Year’s Eve, the clan members finally went back to the dining room and greeted mom Happy New Year. I saw how she quickly changed mood and evinced a cheery spirit in keeping with the occasion. That was my mom–she never wanted her family bothered by her health problems or the pains she felt. I had never seen any trace of self-centeredness in her.

That September, she died.

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