Tuesday, 14 March 2023
I’m writing this primarily for the sake of the many of you with whom I correspond, live in community, and fellowship on a daily and weekly basis … and who know about and pray for my Mom.
Many of you also know about my trip to Lexington NC last week to visit with Mom and my family there, but you haven’t had opportunity for me to tell you about it. You are asking and wanting to know, and I thank you for that.
So let me give you a recap here of the events of the past 7-8 weeks and how she is doing now … even as of today, this morning.
Mom was taken to the hospital this last time on 22 January with shortness of breath and other related disorders. She has a history of all these issues. She was admitted and treated for several days for cardiac irregularities, and also diagnosed with acute UTI. The UTI has been a regular recurrence over the past several months since she had become more immobile and sedentary. After eight days of hospitalization, she was transferred to a nursing home/rehab facility where we hoped and prayed she could recoup enough strength to return home and be cared for there as before. Then she was taken back to the hospital after suffering a relapse in the rehab facility, treated for three days, and returned to the rehab facility. After only a few days back at the rehab facility, it became clear that Mom had no more reserves of strength with which to rehab, so we brought her back to her home to care for her there. She has now lost all of her strength to stand upright or on her own. We moved her out of her bedroom, acquired a hospital bed, and set her up in the large, open, ‘great’ room in her home so she could be out in the traffic area of the home as everybody comes and goes. We had arranged weeks ago for Mom to have round-the-clock, 24/7, companions and caregivers. My sisters, our niece, and other caregivers are providing her with personal, professional, and loving constant care.
About my trip last week: last Monday, 3/6, I drove down there to visit with Mom and the family for a few days. Came back home Thursday morning, 3/9. While I was there, my sisters and I consulted with other care resources that are available there locally to assist them in administering Mom’s care. Also, my older brother, Daniel, was there during those days. He had stopped in while returning from a preaching engagement.
Last Wednesday night, Mom’s church family and friends came into the home for what we older folks used to call a ‘cottage prayer meeting.’ This was their midweek service night, so they all gathered at Mom’s to meet and worship. Pastor Bobby Smith led us as we sang and prayed, and then he had asked me to deliver a message from the Word of God. I chose to do a brief exposition of Psalm 92, especially focusing on the concluding blessing in verses 12-15:
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those who are planted in the house of the LORD
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
15 To declare that the LORD is upright;
He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Without giving more details of my remarks, I told those in attendance that I wanted to direct these Scriptures and my words of encouragement to Mom, but that they were welcome to eavesdrop and overhear ;). What I wanted Mom to know is that even now – even in her extreme weakness and affliction – she is still flourishing and bearing fruit in her old age. All the years of her life [she is now 93 years old] – faithful service to Christ, pastor’s wife and mother, witness and testimony to the Gospel both in word and deed – all of that lifetime of service has not been ‘spent,’ as in ‘gone’ … rather, all the years of her life have been ’planted’ in the house of the LORD and is still bearing fruit, even here and now in her old age.
I further reminded her that we six kids of hers are ‘the fruit of your womb,’ and we are still bearing fruit in our own lives and service to Christ. All of us, Mom’s ‘kids,’ are now old ourselves, and so I had counted up all our ages together: 417 collective years. We, too, are the fruit of her life. And that is besides all the hundreds of others in whose lives Mom has ‘planted’ hers. I just wanted her to know that even now in her present physical weakness, she is still strong and flourishing, still bearing fruit in her old age.
Which brings us to today … even while I was there last week, my sisters and Mom’s caregivers were noticing some discoloration and tinging of blood in her urine. That’s never a good sign. They have begun a course of antibiotics, and a nurse is with her just this morning trying to assess and evaluate what may be going on with her kidneys/bladder. I’m still waiting to hear from that assessment. They will be consulting also with Hospice tomorrow to see what further resources may be available from them. But, Mom knows, and we know, the days of her pilgrimage here are numbered and decreasing.
So, I am in continuous daily correspondence with them, and there will be other trips and visits that I’ll be making there in the soon days to come. But I do want all you dear friends to at least be aware of where things stand today.
We ask that you continue to pray that God will give Mom a strong sense of His Presence with her and His pleasure in her [Psalm 23]. That He will embrace her in His love, envelop her in His peace, and rejoice over her with singing [Zephaniah 3.17].
For years now, every time Mom corresponded with me, she would always sign her name with the Aaronic blessing in Numbers 6.23-26. We’re all praying the LORD will return that same blessing to her in full measure, shaken down, and running over.
Thank you for all the love you have shown me and our Mom and for joining your prayers with ours for her.
Praying for your family
Thank you, Gerry! And thank you for your friendship and partnership in the service of our Lord!
Praying for you and your family as you finish walking her Home 🙏
That you, Pat! That description is so appropriate. Or like walking with her as far as we’re allowed, and handing her over to the Good Shepherd [Psalm 23.4]. I know you understand.
Praying for your mom and the rest of you.
Thank you, Doug! I treasure your friendship, partnership in the ministry of the Gospel, and your prayers to God!
Praying for you all!! She is a special lady.
Thank you for your kind comment, Joan. Yes, she is a special lady, not only to us, but to all who have known her. I’ve always said, “Don’t even try to out-sentimentalize me about ‘Mother’!” I’ve written another post to honor her here: https://daveparksblog.com/2020/06/26/bless-you-mom/ God bless you!
Praying for the Parks Family
Beverly, thank you so much for your kind expressions, for the friendship of you and your family, and especially for your prayers to God for Mom and us. Our two families have shared many years of love together. Grace to you! ~Dave & Parks Family
May God continue to give your Mom and all of strength even in the midnight hours 🥰❤️♥️
Thank you, Cookie!
Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story about your mother. Your words are inspiring and a beautiful reminder of the importance of family and faith.
Thank you, Christopher! Grace to you! ~Dave