Her Death Revealed Love
Tassie’s journey on this world spanned almost 94 years, a pretty good number if you ask most of us. Her life was full of ups and downs (and plenty of hard times), but from what I knew of her, she loved every moment (and MOMent). She spent years of that time quietly serving others by teaching school and backyard Bible clubs; serving in her church and community; and more. She brought joy to countless people during her lifetime. It wasn’t until the last few years that cancer had taken its toll on both her mind and body.
About a week ago, while on the phone with her daughter, I overheard Tassie starting to pack a bag.
Her daughter, a friend of mine who always strives to find the joy in situations, asked, “What are you doing, Mom?”
Tassie shook her head. “Don’t call me Mom. I can’t be your mom. I’m not old enough to have kids.”
Although the forgotten memories hurt, her daughter was used to this and changed tactics. “Tell me why you’re packing, Tassie.”
“I want to go home. It’s time to go home.”
Tassie proceeded to pack several belongings, including a silver framed mirror, a treasured gift from her husband. She also packed some new makeup and other items. But her bag slipped from her hands. It was too heavy for her to carry. The items inside shattered. My friend was left with a big mess of broken glass and makeup.
My friend gently explained, “Mom, you are home. Let’s get you settled while I fix this.”
My friend swept and wiped up the mess while we chuckled about how similar our lives were—me caring for a child with special needs and her caring for her mother with memory issues. Neither is an easy road, and both require repeatedly surrendering your own goals and desires. And laughing at messes. But my friend had to take a moment to lament the loss of the mirror. “It was one of her favorite things. She would be so sad if she realized it was gone.”
Little did my friend know that two days later, her mom would be called to her eternal home.
As we cried on the phone after the fact, I mentioned how interesting it was that her mother knew on some level that her journey was almost at an end. That she’d packed her bags to go home.
It occurred to me that although it was sad one of Tassie’s prized possessions had been broken, it was as if God was saying, “The stuff of this world is now too much for you to carry, Tassie. I have all that you need in My House. You won’t even need your most prized possession when you get to your forever home. I am all you need.”
It’s easy to lose sight of that, especially in the chaos we are living in 2020. The burdens of this life can feel so large and so hard. Or we hold so tightly to things that we don’t realize they are too much for us to carry.
That is not to say we don’t enjoy the gifts of this life. Even when things are at their worst, God’s presence is a gift. Sharing the hope found in Jesus is a gift. There are many blessings to be had in this life, love being one of the greatest.
Life is definitely worth living. I think Tassie would want to tell each of us that. Even in your hardest moments, life is worth living. Don’t give up. Live each moment full of joy even in the hard times. Be assured that your Father has your back and has a place for you when He is ready to call you home. But in the meantime, continue with what he has set before you.
About a day after the mirror mess, when Tassie was bedridden, she reached up to touch her daughter’s face. She could not speak much any longer, but she managed one word. “Love.”
Love indeed. Mothers for their children. Daughters for their mothers. Friends for friends. Spouses for each other. God to his children.
May love carry all of us every day until, like Tassie, it carries us home with no bags packed because we won’t need a thing once we get to our Daddy’s house.