A week ago yesterday, I flew to Williamsport, PA to be with mom in her last days. She was still conscious and was whispering to us when I arrived. Whispering she wanted to go to be with the Lord. Whispering this life which was once full of vitality and zest, was now miserable. As the days passed her 6 year battle with cancer had taken a toll on her once strong body and she could no longer stand up by herself. Ultimately, April 15, 2013, Mom went to be with the Lord at 9:45 am. I had spent the night by her side, her aid gave her a bath and put clean PJs on her and she left us.
In the whirlwind that followed Michelle (sister), Eric (brother) and I had a full schedule. Funeral arrangements, already began cleaning out the family home where Mom has lived nearly 60 years. Finding all the old pictures and remembering Mom in her more youthful days, which for her were from Childhood till about 80 years old, my mind kept running to Ecclesiastes 12. Mom always seemed like the kind of person who would just keep living forever. She was so full of energy and life with such a big personality, you just got the sense she would keep on going indefinitely.
But, the truth is this earthly body breaks down and fades, even for the strongest among us. Thus Ecclesiastes 12, “Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and no longer enjoy living. It will be too late then to remember him . . .” The passage goes on with a poetical description of old age and failing health.
As I type this, I have mom and dad’s engagement pictures on my desk. I see the smooth skin, beautiful and handsome features and their whole lives before them. But just like that, like the morning dew on the grass, they are gone so quickly. Funny, but at the viewing seeing all the “kids,” our cousins and those who we went to school with all now mostly pushing 60 years and beyond, this aging thing is serious! It happens to us all. I see some of the real kids in their 20s and I thought, before you know it your youthful swagger will be taken, Replaced by graying hair and an aching body!
Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 “Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young. . .For then the dust will return to the earth and the spirit will return to God who gave it.