The Call No One Wants to Get

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I guess I had to learn the hard way that God rarely does things the same way twice. Ever notice that about Him? He is, after all, very creative. Why bother with boring, same old same old? Now that I have a little more spiritual maturity, I get that. But at the time, I fully expected God to touch Mom the way he did me.

He didn’t. Mom had surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She had a surgeon awarded with Good Housekeeping’s “10 Best Surgeons of the Year,” a wonderful man, Dr. Rueben Gittes. Mom recovered from the surgery and I had to agree God heals through modern medicine, too. (Although miraculous healings are much more fun with no recovery time.)

Mom seemed fine. Our family had weathered that crisis and everyone went on with their lives. That is, until we got the call that there was a “re-occurrence.” The word alone sent chills through my body. This could not be good. It was in her bones.

The doctor reassured my father that Mom’s condition was not life-threatening. And yet, she continued to go downhill. I flew to Massachusetts for a visit, and she was happy to see me. While she was in bed, I was her faithful servant, doing “girl” things, pampering things like a fragrant sudsy sponge bath, a pedicure, an invigorating head massage. At the end of my allotted week, she seemed confused that I was going home. Clearly, she wanted me to stay but I had two little girls back in California, and a Navy husband, getting ready to go to sea. I couldn’t stay and it broke my heart.

Two weeks later I got the call. She had died.

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