Moments later, still my driveway, I burst into tears as they wordlessly comforted me.
What happened to suddenly change my mood? A phone call.
"Let me call Uncle Bert first, girls," I said as I slipped the key into the ignition. His hospice care was wonderful and they knew he was near the end of his battle with cancer. As soon as I heard his weak voice, I knew too.
"You'll be home soon, Bert. I'll see you there. I love you." Those were my last words to my dear big brother. And I knew we'd just spoken our last words on earth. Even now my tears flow as I remember and write about that sacred conversation between this world and the next.
A few days later I was up alone. It was near midnight. The phone rang. The call. My dear niece, Karen, said softly, "Aunt Kathy. He's home." His call. By morning the family was once again in cars, going to Nashville for Bert's funeral. It was a celebration of a godly life lived full throttle for the Lord.
Last week on the phone to Bert's wife, I shed a few tears again as I told her, "Dianne, you know one change Bert's death made in my life?"
"I long for heaven now. Sometimes I don't even feel like I belong here. My tent pegs were loosened."
She asked a very wise question, "Don't you think that's how we should be?"
I knew the last time on earth I was looking at Bert. In that hospital room, I couldn't stop kissing him. I knew on the phone a year ago that I was hearing his voice for the last time here. I couldn't stop crying.
We're not always given notice when death calls. Death impacts people in many ways. When I watch the national news or hear of horrible weather destruction, my mind looks beyond the mayhem. I long for a better place.
Right now the political scene is angry, restless, frightening sometimes, disillusioning most of the time. A phrase from Isaiah comforts me. "The government shall be upon his shoulders." Did you get that? The government shall be upon HIS shoulders! A perfect, loving, just King of kings will rule in peace.
Don't we all long for that?
Sometimes I tease the kids, "I won't be here much longer. You better be nice to me!" Or I might reverse it, "I better be nice to you so you don't push my wheelchair over a cliff!"
They laugh. "Oh, Mama! Stop that. You're not dying."
But I am. We all are. We're in the land of the dying, heading for the land of the living. I understand the phrase "living in the shadowlands" now. And I look forward to living in eternal Light.
Death is not always a morbid thought to me now. Thank you, Bert, for not only showing us how to live, but how to die. As my body ages or health issues come, I pray, "Lord, let them remind me that I was created for another world. Disease or even death is just my vehicle there, unless You return for me. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus."
Christian Teen Shares Final Thoughts Before His Death
One day you'll get the call. Are you ready? He made the way. It's easy. But it's your choice. Here's a GPS through the Romans Road. Clicking here may lead to the most important decision you ever make. This life is your gift to God. Eternal life is God's gift to you. Choose wisely.