When it comes to death, an aging parent requests that it be a “direct flight.”
Posted in , Mar 5, 2019
My 92-year-old mom has had a good life. She still lives at home. She has a caregiver who comes in several days a week and looks after her—the way Mom looked after us over the years. She does the crossword puzzle. She reads books. And she’s surrounded by family.
Things aren’t perfect. She’s got a hip that gives her a lot of pain and a bad shoulder too. She doesn’t play tennis anymore, and she doesn’t play much bridge. Sometimes she’ll mutter, “Oh Lordy, Lordy, Lordy,” when something hurts. But she doesn’t complain.
God blessed her with a sunny temperament, and it has served her well. She’s also very unsentimental. We were talking the other day about death–hardly a month goes by when she doesn’t hear about some good friend who has passed on.
“I’m not afraid of death,” she says. That’s the sort of thing you would expect from a woman who taught Sunday school for more than a few years. But she doesn’t like the idea of lingering in bad health for a long while. I could see the concern in her eyes.
I suddenly remembered something the wife of the minister who baptized me said years ago. At that time she was well into her eighties and spry, but a realist too, like my mom.
“I pray for a direct flight,” she said.
I told Mom the story and then added, “That’s what I can do for you, Mom. I can pray that whenever the time comes, you, too, should have a direct flight.”
“That sounds just right,” she said.
No one knows what the future holds, at least no one here on earth and the idea of life without Mom is inconceivable, but indeed I pray that when the time comes, may it be a direct flight.
In the meanwhile, she does pretty well on those crossword puzzles.