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Most of us have felt the presence of God many times in our lives. Sometimes it is similar to a Fourth of July explosion, other times, it is in the silence of our souls. The Blessed Mother experienced that closeness when in silence the Angel appeared to announce God's plan that a Savior would be born.
I experienced that closeness as I lived the final twenty-eight days of my mother's earthly life with her in a private room of a hospital in Illinois. Our family had been told that these weeks would be her last. My husband Mike lovingly supported my decision to be with her.
Those days were to be some of the most difficult, yet, most blessed days for mother and for me. God truly loves us.
As the days began to pass, I became aware that we were to walk the path that Our Lord walked for us with His life.
The first step of the journey was the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, mother's joy at having one of her children at her side day and night. She had the expectation once again at ninety-three years of age of pulling through this "minor" set back with flying colors, plus, she too had received a visit from an angel!
The second step on the path, the Sorrowful Mysteries became the longest days, the most difficult, but most blessed that we would walk together. The Agony in the Garden, was her extreme fear of dying, believing she was unworthy of God's love. The Scourging began with full body convulsions which lasted forty-five minutes, but seemed like forty-five hours. The Crowning with Thorns, her great desire to go once more to confession, but an almost paralyzing fear to do so. The carrying of the Cross, saying her last good-byes to children and grandchildren.
Three days prior to mother's death, she told me she had asked the angels to find my dad for her, and then she told me that she would no longer be allowed to speak. The Crucifixion and Death, I spent at the foot of the cross with Mary. Mother had taken no food for those last three days and this last day, no food or water. She lay, tired brown eyes fixed on the night stand which held pictures of family, her crucifix, and a statue of Mary. As I sat on the bed looking at my mother, I realized I was gazing into the face of Jesus. I heard the words; "I Thirst." I quietly asked mom to blink her eyes if she was thirsty, and in rapid succession they began blinking. Through a straw, I gave her one final small sip of water. Her eyes closed and I heard a voice say, "it is finished." It was 12:17 am, Sunday, September 27, 1998. THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES HAD BEGUN!!!
by Barb Arkwright
E-mail comments to the author at: Barbarkwri@aol.com