April 29, 2008
Thursday last week I witness a woman pass away. She was a beautiful, elderly woman I’ve known for a few years. I have been extremely busy these past few weeks and I was meaning to visit her as I knew she was now on hospice and would die any day. While I was exhausted, I thank God David asked me to accompany him to the care home at 10pm April 17th. As I walked into her bedroom, her once full body had now emaciated to bone and a bit of fat. Her lively presence and caring voice was converted into a timeless stillness where only her heavy breathing was heard. She lay in bed with her eyes half open, her mouth gaping and her body rigid from lack of sufficient internal fluids.
She was dying.
I knelt beside her bed and while holding her hand, I began reading her bible. I randomly chose to recite I Corinthians 15, a passage about the resurrection of Jesus, the resurrection of the body and a beautiful life preceding this one. I told her that we would rise again and that we would all one day return home. I could feel her heart beating and breath rising as I reinforced deaths hope by reading the last paragraph:
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:50-58, NIV)
I heard her breathe her last breath the moment I read “…the Lord is not in vain.” Instantly, she was gone.
I had never been present when someone passed away but I was surprisingly unaffected by the spiritual transitions occurring in that moment in time. I knew without doubt she was still in the room, yet no longer in her physical body. She was no longer trapped by the walls of a skeleton, a nervous system and a body that can feel pain, pleasure, hurt, desire and sadness. She was free from the pains of this world.
Death is not a new arena for me, for I thought about the moment I would die almost around the moment I was born.
Today my mind is bounded by the shortness of time and the length of my days. I feverishly work towards passionate thoughts and proceed through passionate actions. There are many things happening in my life right now: things I cannot say out loud and yet things I cannot keep within.
LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am. (Psalms 39:4)
Not I, nor anyone, will ever know the day in which we will die…but I know for certain, that a life lived with passion, is a life beautifully passed. Like the gift she gave, God will give and God will take what is his.
At the end of each day…just as I exist right now, my body is exhausted, my brain is over-used and my heart has been made stronger. I do not know the measure of my days…but I do know that when I give and receive love.I am doing exactly what I was created to do. In those moments, nothing measures the everlasting energy found in faith, love and incredible hope for an existence greater than this.
God Bless all of you.
Journal Pictures: April 29, 2008
We are all in attendence because we are having a celebration with all the church teachers. I volunteer as a Cathecist every Thursday to a bunch of energetic fifth graders with Michael Forino.
Father Matt of Good Shepherd Catholic Church, saying grace before our
BBQ’d meal! (I brought a garden burger to grill and was definitely the
odd ball of the group
Fitness without Borders attended a “One year birthday celebration” with Mutual Assistance Network.
It was a ton of fun! I taught the mothers how to perform exercises with
their children. Here I am doing weighted hip lifts!
They LOVED it. The response was amazing. I’m sooo happy people are finding fitness fun!
Yes, I am a very, little girl at heart. My hair is actually 5 inches
shorter now. I was fed up so I chopped it off earlier today.
At the Festival de la Familia. It was soo hot!
Making Adobe houses with the kids. They had soo many kids activities. It was awesome.
Absolutely beautiful day – my favorite part was relaxing in the shade and eating sno cones.