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In The Upper Room

Author: D Anthony, D-Rose Impressions, 07/01

* Excerpt from the motivational and inspirational book,
The Nurse in the Delivery Room Slapped Me... Once *


A close friend has an aunt who, after months of proving a worthy adversary, appears to be succumbing to an increasingly debilitating bout with Cancer. Unfortunately, many of the familiar signs are there - the inhumanity of late night Emergency Room visits… extended periods without the consumption of food… blurred lines of reality… and occasional exclamations of 'being so tired'. And for loved ones, the overwhelming feelings of helplessness, frustration, sorrow, anger and fear continue to grow. My friend's teary eyes boar witness to a grueling, yet unsatisfied search for answers.

This is the article I didn't think I would ever write -

Do you love anyone? I mean… do you really love anyone? I'm talking about the kind of love that has already stood the test of time. I'm talking about the kind of… there's nothing more important in your life than your love for that person kind of love. I'm talking about the… I would literally give my life for that person kind of love.

Well, that's the way I loved my Mom. Why? I don't know that I can really say. All I know is that above and beyond giving me life, she was honestly the nicest, most giving, most humble, most down-to-earth, most loving person I've have ever known. She had a smile that would warm any heart and a heart that made everyone she touched just a little better. I never knew of a time that she wasn't giving or planning to give again. There wasn't anything she wouldn't sacrifice for me, and my siblings… for family… for friends… for her faith. She was the epitome of the most magnificent complement that can be awarded to any being. She was a loving Mother.

And there wasn't anything I wouldn't do for my Mom… if I could -

I walked in her room, took one glance in her eyes and knew… One look told me everything I needed to know. Just a couple seconds and the unimaginable burden of life's most unacceptable truth would alter my destiny forever. My Mom was passing on.

Nothing else mattered… not a month of prayers… not the power of positive thought… not the tears or spiritual encouragement of the best of friends… not the visitation of her children, and theirs… not one passing medical expert or any of their ineffective diagnosis. Nothing else mattered - except my Mom was going to die.

Up to the second I looked in her eyes I was convinced she would beat her illness. There was no doubt that the plans we made for the shopping spree and the grand meal once she returned home was just a matter of time. The nurse had called me at work indicating, "I should hurry to the hospital… my Mother's system was shutting down". I abruptly interrupted, "what do you mean… do something… where is her doctor". But upon arriving at the hospital I saw her eyes and knew… nothing else mattered. My Mom was going home.

I whispered, "Mom it's okay… I understand… thank you for everything… I love you" -

Somehow, I ignored every acceptable notion that I had ever had… every considerable possible outcome of my Mother's month and a half hospital stay, which I had permitted to enter my guarded realm of consciousness. Although she had stopped speaking the previous week, her eyes told me what had to be done. One look told me I had to let her go. It wasn't easy, but somehow I knew it was what had to be done. Since that day, I have come to believe this was the most valuable gift I could have given her. In the most selfless act I have ever even conceived - I told her it was okay to go. As a result, I know she knew that I understood... she was tired… she had accepted her fate, which her faith ensured was to better place. She knew I understood that this was bigger than us, and beyond our control… that death was an inevitable result of every life.

I told my Mother to go ahead home… to say hello to her mother, father and so many other family members and friends who had previously departed. I thanked her for fighting so hard, and for so long… for everything she stood for… for making me the person I am. I then phoned my sisters, my brother and my father. I informed each that she was passing - holding the phone to her ear as each uttered their tearful good-byes. It wasn't easy… but it was what had to be done.

A halt was called to scheduled shots and procedures. After seven weeks of medical attention from an assortment of doctors, nurses, specialists, therapists and such… obviously my Mom's condition was beyond their control. My Mom's life was in the Lord's hands. And all I could really do was align my faith accordingly. A short while later they moved Mom to a private room. Once everyone had left the room I started her tape player. Sitting next to her, trying to fight back the tears, I tried to savor every contour in her face… the feel of her hand… her scent… her warmth. I felt the need to try to somehow create a memory imprint - a permanent recording to have for all time. I told her over and over how much I loved her.

Then it happened. As the room began to fill with Mahalia Jackson's spiritually moving rendition of "In The Upper Room With Jesus"- I realized Mom had just taken her last breath…

There would be no recovery. The horrible spirit of death had come and robbed the very life from my Mother's body… and my life would never be the same.

I laid my head on my Mother and, with tears now freely flowing, I sang "In The Upper Room With Jesus" to her one final time. When the song ended, I rewound the tape to the beginning of the song and walked out to inform the nurse. The nurses rushed into the room to check her vital signs. I followed, heading straight to the window. Looking up in the clouds through my tears, I continued singing… "In The Upper Room With Jesus".

And it was then, in my most devastated… most humbled state of my life - it happened. I can't explain what it is. To this day I still do not completely understand. All I know is that then and there, a feeling came over me. It was there… and it wasn't. I felt the amazing presence of something bigger… something more incredible than I couldn't even begin to fully comprehend. Then, as quickly as it came, it was gone - and so were any lingering doubts. With unmistakable clarity I understood that my Mom was in a better place… my Mother was going to be just fine. There, for the first time in my life, I knew inner peace. It was there I realized that only faith would see me through.

Looking back on that day now, I'm amazed at some of my actions. I'm amazed that her eyes could tell me so much… amazed that I could maintain some semblance of sanity… of calmness throughout it all. What I am most proud of however, is the fact that I could overcome all my personal desires, fears, anger, frustration, sorrow and everything else - and tell her it was okay. There was no guilt and no pressure… only acceptance… dignity… peace… and faith in the Lord. She went peacefully, knowing that I understood... She went, faithfully believing we would see each other again… It was the only fitting way to end such a beautiful life.

Because of its sensitivity, this is the article I didn't think I would write. Because of my friend and so many others searching for answers - I knew I had to.


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In The Upper Room
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Your thoughts on 'In The Upper Room'

How incredibly awesome.


Its so touching.........


I lost my mother many years ago to cancer, so this story really touched my heart. At the present time I have a close friend with breast cancer fighting for her life. The chaplain asked us what she was holding on for because she is in pain and living on morphine. She has such a strong faith that God can still heal her she refuses to let go. Thank you for this story.


This article was so close to how my mom died. I felt the same way. She is in a better place. It was uplifting. I asked God to put an end to the pain she had been suffering for so long. I truly believe he heard me. She died less than 2 hrs later. I miss her terribly, but she will never have to struggle for her breath any more. Her heart is no longer broken.


It was great, so amazing!!!



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