We moved back home… after a couple of months of leaving our little home to move in with Mom and Dad and help take care of her and spend as much time as possible with her, we moved back home. We came home to an empty house… we had taken time to decorate it with our Christmas decorations. Our lights hung on the house, our tree shown from the window, and our mantel had 6 little stockings hanging from it (5 + 1 for the doggies). But it was cold. We don’t have central heat, we heat our home with our wood stove, and without living in the house, we were never able to heat it up. I would drop in some days to start a fire and do some chores, but 24 hours later, the house was freezing again. Without someone living here, there was no way we could keep it comfortably warm. We came home, tired, worn thin, as if from a war– an emotional, spiritual war that left us tired to our bones. It was quiet. We no longer heard the rythymn of an oxygen machine setting the pace to our day, no more nurses visiting, no more girls giggling as they fought their way to the lotion and RooRoo’s feet.. our house was stark in comparison to the past few months. It was lonely. It was a reminder of the difficult days this summer brought, the late night tears, the cries of our heart for Mom. We had to come home and pick up the pieces, walk forward in healing our brokenness, and move forward through our pain and sadness. Make our home a home that we know Mom won’t come knocking on our door ever again, but a home that we can remember and honor her in. A home that we can make these new memories in with Dad and family, together in grief, but together none-the-less.
But in this home we are processing the irony of coming home to a cold, empty, sad home. Because Mom got a glorious reward in all this.
Mom went home too. But her home was prepared ahead of time for her coming… She didn’t have to worry about heating it up, that was already done. There was no false illusion of beautiful lights on the outside, and a cold, empty place on the inside. No, not in the Kingdom. Jesus prepared it for her, just for Mom. Mom– completely full of sin, broken, beaten down, hurting, suffering, but redeemed and washed clean, got to take off her damaged and failing body, and put on a new one, prepared just for her and free of all the disappointment and battle scars she was burdened with here. See, Mom was “buried in brokenness, but [she was} raised in glory. [She was] buried in weakness, but [she was] raised in strength.” (1 Cor. 15:43) Mom cashed in on her inheritance that morning a couple weeks ago… its an inheritance that us here left behind missing her have yet to receive. Its waiting for us, we know what we have to look forward to, and that assurance it more real now that it has ever been before. When our days here come to an end, and we get to go home, we know what that home will be… a warm heavenly home, prepared ahead of time by our Savior, Christ the King, who sits on His throne, prepared, and has made a way for each and every person to receive this promise, if they choose. Mom chose. She chose her inheritance. She is now experiencing the fullness of the hope we all have in Christ.
Going home is difficult for us who miss her. But for Mom, oh wow, the glory of going home for her is something I can’t even imagine, the beauty, the awesomeness, the wholeness, and the richness that fills her now. And so, in this pain, we are grateful for the memories made, for the stories shared, and the legacy she left for us to enjoy.