This picture is of my husband and his mother. He traveled all the way from the US to Australia for his 40th birthday to meet her for the first time. They both look full of joy in this picture.
My husband was born overseas while his dad was serving in the military. Long story, but his dad came back to the states with him, without his mother. So, my husband grew up knowing nothing about her other than her name and her South African nationality. Once we were married, I searched for her for years to no avail.
One Sunday, while getting ready for church, I received a message on Facebook from his half-sister. It was a total shock. He never knew he had a sister… much less two! He went to meet them for his 40th birthday. I can’t explain it, but an emptiness in his heart was filled. I wish I had shared that experience with him, but we couldn’t afford for all of us to make that journey.
The past few years, they’ve all kept in touch. His mother has sent cards and gifts to the boys. It’s been a great experience and a neat story to tell.
A few weeks ago, she was diagnosed with cancer. Her prognosis was not good, she was given four weeks to live. The family contacted the Red Cross and was able to get my husband off his ship and to Australia to be with her. My husband knew that he could not help her, but just being there made a huge difference for all of them.
He’s called home a few times. He said that he and his mom talked his first day there. His words “it was good.” Translated, that means he said everything he needed to say and she said everything she needed to say. What a blessing it is to have time to say all the things that you never got to say before you die. What a blessing to give one last hug, one last kiss… to hold hands for one last time.
My husband called and said that his mother passed away a few hours ago. God’s timing is perfect. If my husband wouldn’t have been deployed to Japan, we might not have been able to afford to get him there. He made it there in time to see her in good spirits. He’s only been there a few days, but will be able to stay for the funeral and time with his new-found family. His mother waited until everyone made it to the hospital before she passed. Again, God’s timing is perfect.
I hate that I am not able to be with him while he’s dealing with this loss, but I’m comforted knowing that he is not alone. I am also so thankful that nothing was left unsaid. It makes me wonder why we don’t say these things to our loved ones now? Why do we think there will be time? Only God know when we will leave this earth. We may have time to say our last words, we may not.
I never met his mother, but her life and death has given me a desire to make sure that my family and friends know how much they mean to me. I don’t want to wait until the end because I want to live with love, not just die with it.
Do you have something that you need to say to someone? What are you waiting for?
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”‘ John 11:25-26