I had to attend a credit union meeting in Des Moines on Thursday and on the way home I felt an over-whelming urge to stop in Iowa Falls. We had to put my mother in Hospice a couple of weeks ago, and as I was returning to Waterloo I wasn't going to stop in Iowa Falls because I had a board meeting to attend - but I felt compelled to stop.
When I arrived at the nursing home I could tell that my mother was in her final stages. I sat with her about 10 minutes and then took her hand and told her it was ok to go. I told her to make sure to say hi to Uncle Oliver (he died 2 weeks ago), to Dad and to Jesus...she took one more breath and was gone.
I believe 4 things (1) there was Divine Intervention in my urge to visit Iowa Falls - God said, "Get your butt to Iowa Falls!!" - and I listened; (2) my Mother was waiting for me to tell her it was ok to go, and (3) there was a flock of people waiting to meet her in heaven and (4) my last words to her were, "Say hi to Jesus." And she promptly delivered the message. The care center, Heritage Care Center held a short bedside service and all of the nurses, CNAs and even the house cat Skat and Oreo the Dog attended. It is a moment etched in my mind forever.
We will be having her services on October 31st - yes, Halloween. It's All Saints Day Eve and my mother loved to dress up for Halloween - in addition to my sister and I she raised several generations of kids and I sometimes think she enjoyed Halloween more than the kids. And, as my sister remembers she was always the first one to the door for the trick or treaters. So - next week as we celebrate the the life of my mother, Virgina Hill, remember her when the Ghosts, Goblins, princes and princesses come calln' at your house...
(Click on the collage to view a larger image - which are a collection of some of my favorite photos of my mother)