Her Smile Said it All

I find myself today at an all too familiar place as of late, the bedside of my mother who has been sent home to die. We have had a very unusual relationship almost my entire life. Somehow, somewhere, early on in my life, I took over the parenting role. Not only parenting her, but also trying to parent my siblings as best I could.


Her health has been declining rapidly each day. Today as I watch her lying there confused, in pain and scared, my heart breaks for her. My biggest concern since she was diagnosed with cancer  has been that I wanted to be sure that she knew God in the close, personal way that I know Him before she died. Unfortunately, from everything I can tell, and every discussion we’ve had, I’ve gotten the impression that she still doesn’t. She can no longer carry on conversations. So I quietly pray at her bedside for her.

The one sign of hope that I do have is that she was raised Catholic and I know that it has been very, very important to her that a priest visit with her so she can give her last confession. Because she has not been super active in church, we’ve had a hard time getting a priest to make that visit.

Moments after I began writing this post, there was a knock on the door. A priest that my brother had contacted was here to pray over her, take her final confession and do something Catholics call anointing the sick. Though my Mom was heavily medicated, it was clear that she understood what was going on. I felt such peace and comfort hearing the words the priest prayed over her – promising that God would comfort her, give her peace and that all of her sins have been forgiven.

As the priest left, my Mom thanked him wholeheartedly with a smile, nothing more. That smile was the biggest smile I had seen in days from her. And for that, I thank God. He reminds me there is always hope.


4 thoughts on “Her Smile Said it All

  1. Sheri Hammel

    I’m praying for you and your mom, Sue. It’s been over a year since my mom passed away from ovarian cancer, so I can identify with your struggle. Please let me know if I can help in any way. You’re such a sweet lady and I know God is hearing your prayers for your mom. Lots of love to you and your family!

  2. Cheryl Price

    Sue, I am so sorry that you are going through this but there is a peace that comes eventuality knowing that you were obedient by caring for your mother. It is a selfless act that reflects the heart of Jesus. God is bigger than this problem and my hope is that he sends ministering angels and that the Holy Spirit is poured out on her so that she may know the joy. I pray that the eyes of her heart may be enlightened in order that she may know the hope to which she has been called. “Awake O sleeper, rise from the dead, so that the light of Christ may shine on you”
    Ephesians 14: 5 (fragment). I pray this in the name of Jesus. Of course that is a prayer not for physical death but for spiritual life. I hope that you are also able to get respite and renewed strength during all of this. Bless you, dear Sue. I hope that you can take comfort in remembering that Jesus was the great physician, who came to heal those who needed him most, we sinners. Thank God! Let me know if I can help you in any way.


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