It was three weeks ago that the charge nurse on my mother’s floor of the long term care facility in Belgium told me my mom was dying. I immediately began receiving advice from many different, and all well-meaning, people. Some said I should leave for Belgium immediately. Others told me to take my time. It was quite a confusing time for me: Should I stay in Canada and risk not being able to see her again and risk her having to die alone? Or should I drop everything and fly to Belgium to be with her until the end, and in so doing, risk that she wouldn’t pass right away and I would be weeks, even months in Belgium without pay?
It was so hard, because my heart wanted to be with my mom. Finally I decided to leave it in my Heavenly Father’s hands. One evening as I was putting a random DVD in my Blu-ray, I heard my Heavenly Father’s voice: “You will watch a NCIS episode.” I had never received a message like that before, but when the Blu-ray started up, it was, indeed, an NCIS episode. Wow! I then reached for my vitamin C bottle. I love the chew-able kind that comes in all different colours and flavors. You never know which one you will get, but as I was reaching into the bottle, I again heard my Heavenly Father: “It will be green.” Indeed, it was green.
Wait a minute…Why would God tell me what TV show I would watch and what Vitamin C I would take? What was happening? Once again, I heard my Father’s voice: “If I can tell you in advance what you will watch and which vitamin you will take, you can trust me to get you to Belgium at just the right time.”
This gave me a lot of peace, and I rested in His promise for the next two weeks. One Tuesday evening, I received the message from a Bible text: “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.” Revelation 3:20 (MSG) ” To me it was a confirmation to book my tickets to Belgium. That same night my wife received a message that my mom had seven days left.
We wanted to leave immediately, but we couldn’t get a plane any earlier than Saturday. At work, I would take my three family days and my five bereavement days, and I also had Family Day coming up the following week, which is considered to be a statutory holiday in my province. That would cover being away from work for nearly two weeks. It’s true that I was told bereavement leave can only start when a loved one dies, and not before; but what the human resources officer didn’t know was that God was in control.
We arrived on Sunday in Belgium and headed straight for the nursing home. Although my mom couldn’t talk, she knew we were there. Every 20 minutes she smiled at us. She was so happy.
The next day she began to decline, and by evening it was clear she didn’t have much longer. We could have stayed the night, but we were so tired from the plane trip that we were concerned we would fall asleep and not be there for my mom during her dying moments. Instead of leaving for our hotel, I opened the book I had been reading. The first line on the first page where I had left off went like this: “It was perfect timing.”
Wait. Was God again reassuring me that He would make sure we were awake and with my mom at the right time?
I put away my book and my wife and I got ready to leave. I came close to her and kissed her. “It’s OK to go now, maman,” I whispered. “We will join you soon.”
I didn’t notice I had stepped on her oxygen line, but as I moved away, I knew something was wrong. There was water pouring through the tube and into her nose, causing her to sputter. My wife pulled away the oxygen prongs as I pushed the call bell. Although I was appalled at what I had done, it gave us the opportunity to meet the night nurse, and after she fixed the oxygen, we asked her to call us immediately at any time of night if my mom started to further decline.
The phone rang for about 3 seconds at 3:15 am. I was dreaming at that time, and I thought that the music that makes up my ringer sounded familiar…And when the phone rang a second time, I wasn’t surprised to hear my wife say, “We’ll be there in 20 minutes.” We threw on some clothes and charged to the car.
The night nurse was with my mom when we arrived, and we took over from there. We talked about heaven, and when we saw her last moments were arriving, we told her to follow the light. She did so and passed away peacefully. It was 3:55 A.M. Tuesday morning, exactly 7 days from the time my wife had received the “7 day” message…
I will miss my mom, but I know she is healthy again and she can jump and walk. Her Alzheimers is a thing of the past, for now Jesus is taking care of her. After all, God cares for us way more than we may think. We can truly trust our Heavenly Father.
In His love,
Rob Chaffart Written on February 14, 2017