Saying Goodbye

Before we went to sleep last night

Tom said to wake him if I needed to.

I did, at 3:30a.

You see on Monday my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given a short time to live. Her response to the news was not surprising given her realist nature and faith in God; She replied, “Well, I am 90!”

My brother, sister and I laughed through our tears.

When I awoke thoughts immediately came to mind about my mom. I met them with prayers to God for help. When the thoughts started coming faster than my prayers could keep up, I began to cry. It was then I reached out to waken Tom.

This is hard–the saying goodbye part. But Tom reminded me of the Truth that we do not mourn as those without hope.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 ESV)

Nine years ago, almost to the day, we went through this with my dad. It was hard as well, but we still had our mom. This time there is the passing of a generation, and my heart feels as if it will break in two. I know it won’t, but the pain remains.

I asked the Lord why at Christmas time again?

Out of twelve months a year, why am I having to let go of my mom at the exact same time of year I did with my dad? I believe He answered me with this thought:

I have chosen this time of year to call your mom home with Me as a reminder to you of the gift My Son gave to you, your mom and all who call on the name of Christ–a baby born in Bethlehem. He came and gave His all, including death on a Cross and rose again conquering death forever, so that when all who call upon His name take their last breath in this life will embrace life eternal in Heaven with all the saints who have gone before.

This includes my dad and my dear grandmother, we lovingly called Big Mama! I have a rich heritage. God has given me the most incredible husband to lead me through wave after wave of tears, and I am praying I can pass on to the next generation and the one following the amazing legacy my mom has given me.

Mom, Me and Stella

One story I’ve heard this week, that I didn’t realize is that my grandmother (my mom’s mom) prayed every night for each of her children, grandchildren, greats and great-greats by name. My mom confirmed she does this as well. I believe I’ve been given this mantle of prayer to keep the names of our loved ones ever before the Lord. He hears us when we cry to Him. He is as close to me as my husband was a little while ago letting me cry my heart out in His arms. God loves for His children to run to Him for strength in our weakness, joy in our sorrow, and peace in our fear, for He is our strong tower.

If you remember a few weeks ago our Healthy Marriage Tip photo came about as a result of this realization. I was even prompted to make this my desktop wallpaper. How kind of God to place this Truth before me as I write this very personal post.

strong tower

I don’t know when we will post again as we are spending as much time with my mom as possible, but we will be back. We appreciate everyone who has so kindly prayed for us during this time. We feel the strong support of God’s grace as a result. So thank you.

Are you mourning this Christmas? May the Christmas story give you hope, peace and the help you need to walk each day.

About Debi Walter

Tom and Debi have been sharing encouragements through their blogs for many years. Marriage, Reading God's Word and documenting family history is our focus. Growing in our relationship with the Lord is primary in all we say, write or do. We are grateful for all who desire to join us in the same endeavors.
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14 Responses to Saying Goodbye

  1. Your Mother is a remarkable woman. She is loved by so many and all those who love her are with her now.


  2. stephanie says:

    How hard death is for us on earth. How awesome that your husband was able to point you to that wonderful verse of hope when death comes to believers. My prayers are with you and your family as you go thru this difficult time. Thanks for all you do to help others with this web site I will look forward to when you are able to return. God Bless you and your family!


  3. Debbie says:

    My mom went to be with the Lord three years ago in December. What the Lord told you is such a blessing, I’m going to share it with my sister and brother. You’re in our thoughts and prayers Debi as you walk out these next few weeks!!


  4. Sharon O says:

    praying for you and keeping you close in our thoughts.


  5. Ralph (Jim) Ishmael says:

    I feel so blessed to have been able to meet her and hear stories from the early family days. Thoughts and prayers with you and the family..Jim Ishmael


  6. Mark says:

    May the Lord bless you, your mother, and your family.


  7. Praying for you and your family! Much love!!!


  8. Cindy Cline says:

    May each moment with your Mom while physically here with you be etched in your mind and heart. I know our Lord will bring all these moments and those that are already there back when you need them. You and yours are in my prayers, Debi. May the Lord bless this time abundantly.


  9. May God bless you and keep you all in peace. We will remember you in prayer, that He will provide strength beyond what your faith can imagine. With love, Lori & Robert.


  10. oysterbed7 says:

    Debi, you, Tom, and the rest of your family are in my prayers. My heart aches for you. You are so right. Because of the gift of this season, one day you will be reunited with your mom and your praying grandmother. May the Holy Spirit envelope you with his serenity.


  11. This is so powerful and beautiful, even in its sadness. I know a young woman, in the younger generation, who may also go through this this Christmas, and if she does, I will share this with her. How special that you have such a Christian heritage, Debi.


  12. Laura says:

    You made me cry. It’s really important to say goodbye and spend the most you can so you won’t regret anything.
    A couple of days ago was my 90th birthday of my granny….she passed away this April and I really missed her. She couldn’t heard the news she’s going to have a great grandson 😦


  13. Debi, Please know our hearts and prayers are with you and your mom and Tom and with your entire family. We think of you often and pray for you often. Having gone through this during the Christmas season with my mom and Steve’s mom (they both had cancer a few years apart from each other), we know first-hand that this is so very difficult and heart-wrenching. How we wish you could be spared this. ANY time of the year is difficult, but somehow we associate Christmas with birth and expectancy and joy, rather than death issues and the emotionality of releasing someone we love so deeply. We know that you know your mom is going to a better place… but still, you will miss her presence here on earth until you are able to join her in heaven. That’s what makes this difficult.

    Debi, we’re praying for you and your mom and for Tom and your family –that you will experience precious moments of love, peace and gentle lights, even in the darkest of moments you may experience together. As we’re told, “Even in the darkness light dawns for the upright.” (Psalm 112:4a) That is our prayer for you. Please know you are being embraced and upheld in prayer.


  14. Bette says:

    I have a great friend a sister in Christ who is going home to be with Jesus very soon and she is comforting her children. She is so bound by her faith she can only see the joy in letting go of this world but we see it a bit more self oriented, the loss of her wisdom & knowledge her wonderful laugh and stories. I am in some ways jealous of her getting to go home. She is in her late 60’s way to young but she has had a life full of LIFE, the good,bad & the ugly. Praise God we get to see her again. Soon sweet Jesus. On the other end of that spectrum some very good friends let their 8 day old daughter go into the arms of Jesus a month ago. I think when Lois arrives before the throne she will ask about Hope and get to Grandmother her in a way only she can. Grateful is what I feel for the days we have had them both. My prayers & Gods will is prayed for you & your family and looking forward to hear the way only our heavenly Father comforts you,


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