My 91 year-old mother is dying. Her physician has stopped all medication and today she goes on morphine to ease the pain and help her rest. Since mom has gone off all medication her body is taking on water. My brother and I communicated last night and he said her hands were extremely swollen. Due to the severe swelling, mom’s physician asked the care home staff to cut off her wedding rings – it was impossible to remove the rings any other way.
Mom has worn those wedding rings for 70 years. She wore them for almost 50 years of marriage to my dad who passed away 21 years ago this month. Those rings have reminded my mother of younger days and joyful memories. She first wore her rings as a young bride. Her rings have accompanied my mom through the years of her marriage to my dad, the birth of her sons, the coming of her grandchildren, the death of my father and the birth of her great-grandchildren.
When I first heard the news of mom’s wedding rings being cut off I felt a deep sorrow for this dear lady having to go through such an ordeal. Mom is now in and out of consciousness and a recognition of such an unsettling procedure at any level would have a painful reality attached to it.
Today, I think the removal of mom’s wedding rings is a preparation of sorts. Mom is about ready to exhale her last breath on this earth and inhale the atmosphere of eternal glory. The removal of her earthly wedding rings is making way for an eternal marriage with her Saviour-Groom whom she has called “Lord” for most of her 91 years. For people like my mom, who has encouraged me to walk with Jesus all my life, this life has always been a preparation for the one to come.