“It is well with my soul..”
I met my mother in law for the first time in person on Friday the 13th 2017 on her death bed. We had gotten to know each other via telephone calls during the prior year. My husband had also started speaking to her on the telephone during the prior year. She and my father and law had reconciled and that opened the door for me to get to know this true blue southern belle of an angel.
For reasons that are really and exclusively only her and my husband’s business, mother and son were estranged for a period of time in their lives. All that matters is the ending: reconciliation. She was able to say at the end of her life…”It is well with my soul.”
She jumped into that peace like a river.
Never doubt the love of a mother for son and son for mother. They may be at odds but the love never dies. Make no mistake.
After she hugged her son that Friday the 13th and they cried tears of joy and reconciliation. She was ready to hug my neck, with tears in her eyes she whispered in my ear…”it’s you, it’s you.” As her remaining days would go by I would learn what she meant. She was a praying woman. She wanted her bambino. She wanted reconciliation and peace with her son. I was a willing vessel.
I’ll share the whole story about this another day. Blockbuster movies don’t have anything on their story. It’s remarkable and awe inspiring. Their story gives hope. Many people pass from this world wanting but never getting what she was divinely bestowed. And it’s because she understood the power of love.
Though she was not a member of a church, do not think she was not a praying woman. A praying mother. You do not have to be a member of a church in order for the prayers of your heart to be heard or answered.
We had been told she had severe stomach ulcers. She didn’t want anyone to know how sick she was. Days after arriving at the hospital to check on her, the diagnosis was revealed. Stage 4 cancer of the gastrointestinal tract with metastasis to her lungs, liver, and pancreas.
I watched from the corner of the room as the diagnosis settled in on my husband and father in law. Though my father in law was with her, she even kept full extent of diagnosis from him. She wanted to enjoy the time she had with him.
Anguish, grief, shock. So many other emotions. Momma BB already knew the diagnosis. My father in law sat by her side on her bed with tears streaming down his cheeks, she had her hand on his back, and my husband was standing on the other side of her bed with a river of tears flowing from his eyes, holding her other hand. She radiated peace. She had her buds together, one more time. The family whole again. Had not been whole since my husband was 11, he’s 47 now. “No more tears, only smiles and love.” She would remind us from time to time.
Simply awestruck is the only way I can describe what I was feeling. She was already at peace with what was to come, they were not ready. Healing and grief were working in unison. Something I had never witnessed until this day.
Many of her friends came by to offer comfort in her last days. Some more than others. She was well known in the community and some said she was one of the faces of Tupelo. A couple of her friends showed themselves to be absolute angels themselves. We can only pray to have these kinds of friends in our life. The kind that sticks by you closer than a brother. These are the ones that welcomed her son and husband as well, and me. They saw a miracle playing out before their eyes and were grateful for Momma BB to have this reconciliation and peace at the end of her life.
A few days after we learned she would be passing I began planning a blog post in her honor. I was honored and humbled to spend so much time with her in her last days. We talked about everything under the sun from life in general, how she felt about dying, her funeral arrangements and how to take care of her boys, and red velvet cake. We talked of many more things that are just for me and her. We laughed. We cried. Many times visiting with her buds and myself she forgot she was dying. Then she would remember and a silence took over. The kind of silence that speaks to the heart and doesn’t need words. Love speaks in the silences too. Learn to be comfortable with them.
When you get to know somebody who knows their time on this earth is short, the usual dynamics for relationship building go by the wayside. No need for reservation or cautiousness. It’s love that rules and you embrace each other in that moment and in love. She and I entertained angels during our time together. I ache to have had more time with her to get to know her but know that everything works out as it should. Appointed times.
As I planned the blog post, I had no idea I would be speaking at her funeral as well. I count it an honor to speak at her service, humbled to stand up for her and her family.
This post is a testimony. A testimony of the power of love.
“So now faith, hope, and love abide but the greatest of these is love.” I Cor 13:13
The greatest gift given to all of humanity is love. It’s up to each of us how we use this precious gift. How we give our love away and how we receive it.
I’m honored and humbled to stand and give testimony for Momma BB and the family. We are told in scripture when something great happens and we are witness to the event, we should testify.
So here I stand today giving testimony for Momma BB. I’m proud to speak on her behalf!
This is a testimony of the power of love.
I’m declaring the power of love and the goodness of God.
I would like for us all gathered here today to celebrate her home going to step back and take a look at the big picture, family and friends together.
We ALL love Momma BB, that’s why we are here today celebrating her life.
Awe and wonder still fill me as I think about the miracle I saw unfold before my very eyes.
People die everyday wanting what she received at the end of her life and not getting it for themselves.
Forgiveness, healing, peace, and reconciliation were found between mother and son, and between spouses.
Here we the family are grieving her imminent departure from this life but healing at the same time with every tear that falls.
I’m truly humbled to witness these miraculous works before my very eyes.
The love between Momma BB and Pop was very evident. They still lit up each others faces after all those years. It melted me to watch them be together.
Mother and son are together again. Like nothing ever happened and as it should be.
Healing, love, and peace filled her hospital room and we carry that with us from now on.
I’m so grateful for her, my husband, and Pop to witness the miracle they experienced together. Grateful to be a part of the miracle. This is love in action. She knew how to tap into the power of love. She shared that love with many of you gathered here today. She freely shared the gift of love given to all of us.
Many times I found myself speechless.
Her story gives hope to those looking for peace and reconciliation in their own lives. Tap into the power of love on your own behalf.
All we really own is the love we have and carry within ourselves. The greatest gift given to each of us.
The family expresses their utmost gratitude for the miraculous, they KNOW they have been blessed.
The family sends love to all of Momma BB’s friends, and we keep them in our thoughts and prayers as we know they are grieving her loss as well. It is our prayer that healing come to them as well through the tears. The family prays that all of her friends be blessed in all their ways. We also request that the family of this precious angel be kept in your thoughts and prayers during their time of grieving as well, send them love. Remember the big picture. We all love her!
“Above all, love one another deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins” 1 Peter 4:8
God works through love, the greatest gift.
This has been a testimony on behalf of Momma BB and her family. A testimony of the power of love. It is our prayer that this testimony gives you hope for those trials and situations you face in life.
Love wins. Love has already won.
In closing, I’ll share the simple little prayer mother taught her son to teach him how to pray. He still prays this little prayer to this day with his other prayers:
“God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. I love you Jesus, Amen.” 1 John 3:16
Rest in peace Momma BB, everything worked out…until we meet again…