The peace that Jesus brings
I’m sitting here with my lovely mother. She is sleeping peacefully at the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House in Bettendorf. She is dying from end-stage COPD. We brought her here three weeks ago thinking we were near the end. But as I write today, she’s still eating and drinking, and, therefore, hanging on. Her mind is cluttered with dementia and the medication she’s on, but her spirit is strong.
If there’s one emotion that overwhelms this whole experience, it is gratitude. I’m grateful for so much: For the nurses and aides that care for her so lovingly. For the peacefulness that envelopes us as we sit together. For the volunteers that bring soup and cookies for the patients and their families. For a place where folks can go to die with dignity and free from pain. For my brothers and sisters who have been with me on this journey. For my beautiful mother who loves me unconditionally. Most families spend just a few days here; our family is starting its fourth week. That’s a long time in hospice house living. And it’s been hard and emotional, for sure. Yes, I’m heartbroken as I say goodbye. And our girls are losing their grandma, I know.
But still, every day contains a moment with mom for which I’m grateful. A connection she makes with those of us who gather, even if for only a second, tells us that she loves us and that we matter. Last week, she said to me, “I’m on a path to glory.” Yes, she is. I’m so grateful that Jesus is here with her and that she knows it. I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit too, moving around all of us, helping us to navigate these days. Gratitude for me is knowing the peace that Jesus brings.
— Katherine Andersen