Her mother, Patsy, was dying as we sat at her bedside, my friend Jane on one side, me on the other. I watched as Jane held her mom's hand, brushed her hair, and told her she loved her. In our 32 years of friendship, I've seen Jane survive some hard and serious situations. This is the most difficult thing I've seen her endure.I was so proud of her strength. How does she keep it together, I wondered?
At about the time I was thinking this, Jane turned to me and said, "You know, I do sorta wonder why God is letting this go on. I mean, why?" She glanced at her mom and then looked back to me as if maybe I had the answer. Me? How am I supposed to tell Jane why it is that when the Dr. said it was over, Patsy had lived on for twelve days now? She did that with no food, little water and not much medication other than pain reliever and relaxers. Death was at her door. Yet she had not succumbed.
This was a good, honest question. Why would a loving and kind God let the inevitable be prolonged for so long a time? Why allow the suffering? Had I thought very long about an answer, I might have panicked. Instead, an answer must have come from God, because, suddenly, I heard myself reply, "It is her flesh, Jane. Her flesh doesn't want to succumb to death. Your mom is a strong woman and she is fighting to survive the insurmountable odds that are against her. Originally, before sin entered in, we were designed by God to live forever. We don't use a fraction of the brain we have in one lifetime. Our skin regenerates itself. Sin bringeth forth death, so now, we will all have to experience death. That won't mean we will want to die." I think Jane was satisfied with my answer.
Still, it doesn't make it any easier. Her entire schedule is disrupted. Her mom is in a hospital bed in the living room. Nurses and Hospice are coming and going along with relatives and friends. She is off work with no pay. Her own 11 year old daughter still has to be mothered. She has had little sleep. Yet, Jane stays strong. Sure, she has her brother, Mark's support. He comes every evening. Also, her fiance Dave, tends to the dog, meals and other important but mundane matters. I can also say her sisters, Patty and Becky, have certainly added to her strength, as well as her friends and the prayers of many Christians. Even Hospice has stepped in.
But, after watching her mother, Patsy's, fight for life, something tells me that the real reason Jane has held up through these past two weeks and the many weeks that led up to this event, is because she has the strength of a survivor. She inherited it from her mama. I'm so proud of both of them.