Monday, February 07, 2011

A New Body . . . Safe in the Arms of Jesus

The dreaded day, the day for which I have hoped and prayed finally was today. Tom passed very peacefully about four this afternoon. The last several days I have sat by his bed, holding his hand, talking, telling him what's in the news, reading psalms, praying, singing. He has shown no real response since Thursday except for grimacing when he hurt, or having Parkinson type tics because he's not had any meds. One exception: the nurses have been swabbing his mouth with a special mouthwash several times a day and yesterday he wouldn't open his mouth. The nurse said for me to try if I saw an opening anytime during the day. He was like a little boy refusing to take his medicine, clinching his teeth together so I couldn't possibly get anything past his lips.

This morning I drove to the hospital in the most beautiful snow. The flakes were big and fluffy and fell for six or seven hours. In the South, that means people stay home, off the streets. That is, we stay home after we have raided the store shelves of bread, milk, eggs and other essentials. Shopping during one of these grocery store runs can be dangerous to one's health. Anyway, no one came by the room today except the usual hospital staff and two hospice workers about noon. Tom and I were all alone in our little room and I could focus my whole attention on him. It was such a gift to have a day to ourselves. The middle of the afternoon I stretched out on the little sofa, telling him I was right there by him and needed to close my eyes for a few minutes. When I woke up after about 20 minutes, he had quit breathing. I wasn't holding his hand as I had wanted to be, but we were together.

The most beautiful statement was made to me by my precious five year old granddaughter. I went to Tommy's so I could tell the grandchildren about their Paw Paw. After I told them, Meredith crawled up in my lap and said, "Please don't be sad and cry, Maw Maw. Paw Paw's in your heart."

Memorial services will be held later this week or early next (depending on winter weather advisories) at Covenant Presbyterian in Jackson, MS. More about that later.

My love and God's blessings,
Pastor Margaret


Anonymous said...

Margaret, I checked your blog this morning (Tuesday) and read your touching message about Tommy. My heart goes out to you and the family. Though this day is a sad one that he is not with us, we know he is finally free from all his pain in his heavenly home . Much love, DeSha

Anonymous said...

Pastor Margaret....My prayers & love are with you and family. Your precious Tom is Home. Glory Glory! Love, Valerie Patten

Bubblewench said...

Much love and prayers to you & your family. I am saddened to read of the loss of such a great man, but he is with God now.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Margaret, Tom was such a positive person in my life; he always made me feel special, beautiful and loved. I have missed him so since you all left. Of course, I have missed you, too. My heart weeps with yours; I do realize that we do not weep as those who have no hope. We will all meet again in the glorious arms of our Father. But for now, I am sad. I pray you will feel the comfort that only God can give. I love you both so much,


Anonymous said...

My dear Margaret,
As we both know, one of the greatest gifts we can give one we love is a good death. And you have more than done that, surrounding him with love, and the faith you shared, and your shared life. Know I will continue to hold you in my heart and my prayers. How blessed Tom was and how blessed you were to be there for him.
Much love,
Kathy Barlow Westmoreland

Andrea said...

Pastor Margaret, I am so sincerely sorry for your loss. May Tom, and all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

My thoughts & prayers will be with you in the coming hours, days, weeks & months ahead.

Love~ Andrea in Indiana