Final Words

The final words I had with both of my parents before they died remain with me. In 1997, my mom died, after a long and painful battle with cancer.  I knew the day would come to say goodbye, but until the day came, I had no idea that I longed to tell her certain things or that I might need her to comfort me in that moment.

The door to the classroom opened and a woman walked to the front of the class with a note in her hand. The professor called my name, I came forward, and then left the room.  I needed to call home.  It was urgent.  So, I found a small conference room on campus with a phone.  And I called.  Dad answered and told me that mom needed to “say goodbye.”  Tears swelled in my eyes at the words.

My mind raced and the words spilled out. I spoke to her about how much she had meant to my life.  How I hoped I would be as good of a mother as she had been to me.  I listened as she told me all would be fine when she was gone and that she was grateful I had a loving husband and two beautiful children.  We parted with “I love yous” and hung up.

I hadn’t noticed that the conference room had a door adjoining the office of a professor and that the door was slightly ajar. The professor overheard my conversation and later told me so.  She said that she couldn’t help but overhear.  And, she said she hoped that she would be as poised when the time came for her to say goodbye to her mother. I’m certain she was.

Her words meant a lot.  And still mean a lot to me because they reminded me of the importance of sharing our hearts with those we love. I wondered why it took me to the end to say those words to my mom.  And, it made me wonder how I would feel today if I had not gotten the chance.

I wondered if my mom had prepared what she would say to me and whether she wondered why it had taken her so long to say those words.   But, perhaps she just knew she needed to comfort me at a time when I needed it.

As we walk through Holy Week, these thoughts come to the surface because Christ, in anticipation of the cross, spoke to his disciples during this time. As a fellow blogger noted this week, He prepared them for what he knew was to come. His words provided direction, comfort, and peace to the disciples.

Christ’s experience and foresight teaches me not only what He wants His disciples to know, but to engage in meaningful conversation and relationship daily. I won’t always get to prepare for and have those last conversations like I had with my mom.  But, I have today to spend time with those I love and those I meet along the way.  To reflect Christ, to share my heart, to comfort others, to love deeply.

Lord, help me to reflect Christ, share my heart, and love deeply today.

— Godspeed, Elizabeth


Posted on March 31, 2010, in Christianity, Faith, God, Hope and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. What a great reminder about relationships. We don’t always know when we will be out of time to tell someone how we feel. When I read this it brought tears to my eyes because my own mom died after a long battle with cancer (I am amazed again at what we have in common!), but I did not take the opportunity to speak to her before she died. In fact, when she went into the hospital for the last time I was 6 hours away and no one in my family told me it had gotten that bad. I must confess I envy you having had this opportunity and taken advantage of it.

    I’d tell you the sad story about my dad’s death, too, but maybe some other time.

    • Linda – We don’t always know when, and I know for other people in my life, I have missed opportunities. So, we need to build our relationships and nurture them always. Thanks for the thoughts …-Godspeed, Elizabeth

  2. Elizabeth,

    I always love to come here. Every time, my heart finds peace whenever I read your words. I don’t know why…but that how I feel. Even though my parents are still alive…although I haven’t been home…back in Kenya for a little over five years, I can only imagine what or how I would feel if it were me faced with those last moments with a loved one. But I thank God…for such testimony as yours which encourages us in the midst of the uncertain future. I love people…and yes, I am kind of person who seeks people out. At times, things work out, and at times they don’t. But I thank God all the same for family and friends. And yes, brother and sisters in the Lord like you!

    Have a Blessing Easter Weekend!

    Love and hugs,


    • Gladwell – Thank you for the kind words. When I think about the privilege of saying goodbye to both of my parents, I can’t stop but think of others who have not gotten that opportunity. I know I lost it with other people I have known, but with my parents, it was a gift (even though my “goodbye” with my Dad was a little different–that will be another post, another day). I hope that you will get the chance to spend time with your family, soon and that you will have the opportunity to share words that have needed to be said. –Godspeed, Elizabeth

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