God’s Waiting Room

Mom is still hanging on.  No one quite knows how or why.  I am constantly being asked if there is something that needs closure for her:  is there someone from whom she needs to hear; some significant date looming in the distance.  How am I supposed to read my mother’s mind?  I have no idea why she is clinging so tightly to the life that she wanted so desperately to leave.  So I cling to the imagery that the hospice nurse provided:  we are now in God’s waiting room.

The last time Mom ate or drank anything was 10 days ago.  The last time she spoke or opened her eyes was 8 days ago.  That person lying in the bed is no longer my mother, she is just a corpse who continues to have a pulse and every once in while gasp for air.  I was told 12 days ago that the end was “eminent”. I was told a week ago that any breath could be her last.  I was called out of school on Wednesday because “it could be any minute and she is just hanging on for you to come.”  And yet…she still continues to hang on.  I was told that she will probably not make it through this weekend, but I am sure you can understand why I don’t hold much faith in those words.

It occurred to me one day this week as I was taking my daily walk – that nature mirrors my own life.  My mother  continues to hang on – much like the withered leaf that clings to the branch.  New growth is starting to bud and perhaps that old leaf wants to ensure that the next generation will continue before it is willing to fall to the ground.  As it stands now – I have a number of significant milestones to experience – all within about a month of each other.  I will become an orphan – a grandmother – and the matriarch of the family.  That is a lot of changes to learn to accept in a very short amount of time.  I’m not quite sure where I fit in this nature metaphor.  My mother is the withered leaf – my granddaughter is the new bud.  I suppose that makes me the mighty oak?  Not quite the responsibility I bargained for.


  • Better is Possible

    Yes indeed…the mighty oak!!! I don't know you, but my thoughts are with you. We went through something very similar just over a year ago with my mother in law. I love your image of the leaf clinging to the branch. It will drop when it is ready.
    My you find peace in God's waiting room where the time is exactly as it should be.

  • bermudaonion

    My father went without food or water for 8 days and he wasn't conscious during that time. It was horrible to witness, so I know what you're going through. I'll continue to pray for you and your family.

  • Vasilly

    Molly, I think you are the mighty oak. I am so sorry about all the pain you and your family are going through. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Anonymous

    I've been thinking about you this week, Molly, and wondering how things were going. Both my parents lingered for a time without nourishment or water. I do understand how hard this is. Your Mom will go when it is the right time for her and there's no way of knowing when that will be. When she makes her peace with God.

    Hugs to you…and I'll continuing praying for you and her and all of you.

  • Inside A Book

    Words seem shallow now but they are all I have to offer. The waiting is hard, I have walked your road. May you find comfort in the hopes of this new granddaughter. Your parent's legacy and yours will go on…may you find peace in the days ahead.

  • Sandy Nawrot

    Just with people telling you "any minute", it has to be nerve-wracking. Each person goes in their own time, and who knows the reason? You are entering a new stage in your life, but I know you will grasp and embrace it and be the tallest, strongest mighty oak your family has ever seen. I'm praying for you and your family Molly.

  • Vivienne

    When you know that something is imminent and the pain of the waiting is so long it can often be worse than the release. I am so sorry to hear about your mother. My thoughts are with you and your family. xxx

  • Liz

    Oh, lovely oak:) Am planning to post about my connection to trees today, so very cool to see this here today.

    I don't mean to be critical, but I think I need to leave a note for God that his waiting room is terribly uncomfortable. Perhaps a window or two? And better magazines…

  • Wendy

    I do think that nature is a wonder metaphor for our lives (I highly recommend a book which made my top reads of 2010: Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature by Kathleen Dean – which I found immensely comforting at a time I needed it). It sounds like you are going through an emotionally draining time in your life, Molly – and I hope that you are finding slices of time for just you. Thinking of you…*hugs*

  • Kim

    Oh dear Molly—I have been thinking of you and praying for you. The waiting must be so very hard and my prayer this weekend is that waiting comes to an end. Hugs to you, dear one.

  • Jenners

    Perhaps she is waiting to hear aboutnthe new generation being born? I hope for your sake and for hers that she finds peace soon.hang in there…and you are plenty strong to deal with all of this and more.

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