We were seated in our living room snuggled on the couch with blankets on our laps. In front of us were magazines and newspapers to savor as we relaxed after a nice shabbot friday night dinner. We had eaten well, sung all of the traditional songs and benching and were enjoying the peace of the moment. I jumped when the phone rang. We felt the anxiety building as we waited for the answering machine to let us listen to who was calling. It was my mother in law's doctor. She wanted to let us know that mommy had taken a turn for the worst and she wanted to speak with us about our wishes regarding her care. My husband ran to reach the phone in time. Answering and using the phone on shabbot is not what we normally do, but in htis case as it was related to mommy's care, we did not hesitate. "How is she?" he said. "She's having some difficulty breathing and we have strted her on pain medicine." "I will call you tomorrow is if there is any change."
On Saturday we walked to shul and said our prayers. We came home and had lunch and enjoyed tea with our friends. They could identify with our situation ahving lost a parent recently and with another one ill and out of town. The phone rang again. I quickly jumped to get it. "Her breathing is more labored." "It only a matter of hours."
Our friends gave us hugs and went home. We nervously got ready and made our way to the car. Shabbot would be over in an hour, but we couldn't wait. The anticipation of what was to come was tremendous. It was so strange to be driving on the sabbath, but we couldn't have gotten to the facility where mommy was any other way safely. The walk would be log (hours long) and in sub zero weather.
We entered her room and immediately heard the swoosh woosh sound of an oxygen machine pump. My mother in law was breathing in a labored way. Her eyes were closed and she seemed unconscious, but I encouraged my husband Jim and sister in law Stacey to speak to her and let her know that they gave her permission to go. They reassured her that they would take care of my father in law. Jim held her hand. After he was done speaking to her he began to weep. "She squeezed my hand!" "I think she heard you", I said.
I watched her and saw a beautiful blue aura around her head. I had never noticed this color around her before. I assumed this is a color that is seen when a person is dying.
We stayed until late that night. The nurses encouraged us to go home and get some rest. We got the call at 6:10AM that she had passed away. We got up quickly, grabbed the book of tehillim, (psalms) and went to the car. We drove silently back to the hospital and made our way yot her side. We sat with her saying psalms as we waited for the Jewish burial society representatives to arrive and the funeral home representative. The Chevra Chadisha (Jewish burial society) is made up of pious community members who volunteer their time to assist in the burial preparations for jewish members of the community. They were so kind when they arrived and helped prepare mommy.
It was hard to see her go, but I am glad she didn't have to suffer for a long time. I feel bad for Jim as it is hard for him to cry like I can. I am like a faucet and the tears came freely. The funeral was on a snowy morning the next day. It was a graveside service and many memebers of the shul came and helped with the burial. The days of shiva at our house were exhausting and surreal. People brough over meals and salads and desserts. We got more hugs than we could handle.
Now it is quiet here. Our next shabbot will be back to normal. I won't jump when the phone rings. I will return to work and get back into the normal routine. Life will go on, because that's what we have to do.
Thanks for listening.371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c