The Hug

October 23, 2010.  I got the phone call late at night that everyone dreads—my mom had had a stroke and had been life-flighted to a larger hospital than what was in their small town of 1500 people. At that point she was unconscious.

The report from my brother the next morning was grim. The stroke had destroyed much of Mom’s brain. She was only alive because of modern technology. There was nothing left to do but take her off the ventilator and let her go home to Jesus.

But when we drove up to the hospital, she seemed to be seeing us and she responded to our questions with blinks. The doctors still insisted that she was not going to improve and would most likely suffer more and more strokes until she died. So was this better or worse?  My brother felt like it was a blessing that he got to “interact” with her one more time.  All I could see was my dear mother with a ventilator crammed down her throat unable to move, except blink. I felt so completely helpless. All I could think of to do was sing to her, so I sang every hymn I could remember the words to and some I couldn’t.

I should have stayed there that evening, but I didn’t. I was kind of in a state of shock, so I said goodbye—said I’d be back later. This was too hard—more than I could handle—more than I was able to bear.

But that evening, I regretted leaving and driving the hour back to my parents’ house. I was sitting in Mom’s sunroom after dark crying and praying. I was terrified that Mom might be conscious enough to realize what had happened to her and be terrified–unable to move, unable to speak.

I was begging God for some sign of his presence in this dark hour–something that would give me confidence that He was there with Mom and giving her comfort. I told him I just needed Him to give me a big hug somehow. A split second later, the door opened, Kevin walked in, sat down beside me and threw his arms around me.

I’m sure he thought it was his idea.

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