This morning just before four o’clock, my dear mother opened her eyes in Heaven. The nearest thing to my “other self,” she woke to find Jesus had wrapped His arms around her and welcomed her into His glorious presence.
In this space, I’ve posted more than a couple times with stories and recollections concerning my mom. The picture above was taken last December. We knew at that time her days on earth were winding to a close. Once the lockdowns were put in place at her long-term care facility, visits with her ceased. She died six weeks short of her 94th birthday.
It’s impossible to leaf through my memory to provide a full picture of Marion Ruth West (1926-2020) who fashioned herself (early in life) as Ruthe West and on one occasion, Bobbie Pringle, eventually living most of her adult life as Ruthe Stricker. Just the variations of her name offer a bird’s-eye view into her fun-loving, often-impulsive character! The world is poorer for having lost her, but Heaven is blessed … because she will do her part to keep St. Peter on his toes!
Over the last several years, it was clear she had grown impatient with this world and the weakened nature of her existence. (She hated being dependent.) Blind and hard of hearing (especially after her hearing aids disappeared during a hospital stay), she often asked why God didn’t take her home. Had He forgotten her? Was He purposely tormenting her?
No answers could adequately satisfy her why questions. In truth and given all the struggles she’d encountered in the final two years, my siblings and I were stymied by her apparent strong will to live. I often think it may have been her father’s voice urging her six-year-old self: Be a good soldier, daughter. After I’m gone, soldier on. Even when the din of earthly existence crowded out all audible conversations, she’d have heard his voice speaking comfort in her soul.
During previous visits with my mom, the sonnet below was edging its way into form. We’ve all experienced the frustration of having to wait. From personal observation, it seems an especially aggravating burden for elderly folks. For my mom, it became a trial having to wait. Didn’t people realize she had places to go, people to see?!