There was nothing about August 12th or the week before it that was usual. Life was turning upside down before my eyes, and there was nothing I could do about it. My daughter was in the ICU in critical condition, and I could not be there to comfort her or even see her. The hospital banned all visitors the day before I arrived. Keeping the faith is most challenging when tested the most, especially when the issue surrounds someone we dearly love.
My sweet Christina was leaving her body as I was on the phone talking to her nurse. Her heart was beating its last beats. Her lungs were taking their last breaths. She was saying “good-bye,” and there was nothing I could do to stop her departure.
My memories of her 38 years are beautiful and challenging, as many mothers have regarding their children. No matter what, nothing she could ever do would take away the way I always saw her. She was strong, willful, sassy, stubborn, loving, and very generous. I guess we call that a mixed bag. It’s something we all have; the good things and not too good.
She did some wrong things, but she also did some very right things as well. Her heart was always in the right place. It’s just her heart gave out way too much of herself. Maybe it was tired. Perhaps she was tired. Maybe it was just time to leave this earth. Who could ever know for sure? All I know is that no effort could be made to keep her from moving on.
All I can do now is hope the best for her in her new spiritual life, wherever that might be and whatever that looks like. I wish she were here in person to hug just one more time, but a spiritual hug will have to be enough. I feel the same way I did when my son Jayson parted this earth. The last time I saw her, if I had known it was my last; I would have hugged her for a lifetime. Since there is no separation between time and space for love, I know she is still here. She lives on with all of us who knew her, loved her, and appreciated her crazy sense of humor. We will laugh when we think of those moments and sometimes cry because we long for more.
We will remember her smile when the sun shines brightly. We will not forget she lit up the room when she walked in and smiled. I know I will feel her in the rain, in the warmth of summer breezes, and the cool winter frost in the morning. She is my baby, my daughter, my friend, and my gift. Nothing could ever keep her love from me or mine from her. Now she is a part of God, the God Spirit that lives within all of us. I determine to allow her to shine through me every time her memory comes to me and to let God shine through me every time I remind myself that we all belong to God first and not to other people.
Loving her from here,
Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, Ph.D.