I Drew on My Daughter's Strength

by Teresa Meldrum
The last Thursday before school got out, I found out that I had cancer. The following Thursday I found out that my mother had five brain tumors and was expected to live only four to eight weeks longer. She would require 24-hour care.

My brother had been directed by the Lord to move his family here from another state without knowing why he was to be here. He and his family got here three days before Mom’s tumors were found. We have a large family, and each one of the married couples came to stay with Mom for two days at a time. It made it possible for Mom to stay in her own home until the very end of her life.

I was not physically strong enough to do what my other siblings and their spouses did even though I had the greatest desire to be with my mother. Almost every day of that three-month summer, my 13-year-old daughter and I would spend as much time at my mom’s home as possible.

The Lord blessed us to be able to be together through the final days of my mother’s life. We were blessed to draw closer together and be able to serve each other. Because of my daughter's strength, I was able to care for my mom through her. Together we loved and served Mom. I could not have done any of it by myself.

Before that summer, my daughter could not name any of her aunts and uncles on my side of the family. By the end of the summer she could identify all of them and their children. Both of us came to know my brothers and sisters better and to love them as individuals. We had drifted so very far apart over the years, and it had been a great coming together to work for a common goal: to make Mom’s last days as comfortable as possible.

My mother was blessed to have her family around her, which she loved. The Lord took all of Mom’s pain from her. She should have been in terrible pain, according to the medical field, but she was at peace. She was able to be in her own home surrounded by her family. She was totally willing and desirous to do the will of the Lord and looked forward to being with Dad again. She silently bore her testimony to each one of her posterity by embracing her death with complete faith and peace. It was simply all part of our Heavenly Father’s plan.

We were blessed to be able to be with Mom. To feel of the incredible spirit that pervaded in Mom’s home during that time. To be able to serve each other and help each other out in a real tough spot. Our family is closer and stronger than it has ever been.

My daughter gave me the chance to serve my mother at a time in my life when I was too weak to serve myself. She cheerfully showed love and kindness to me and my mother, her grandma. She willingly sat with the family and listened to discussions for hours on end. She kindly did all that she was asked to do with a smile on her face. She gave me one of the best examples of love and kindness that I have ever had in this life. We have been blessed to feel the great love and joy that comes as you serve one another.