A moment I shall never forget: when my mother stopped breathing. On August 9, 2012 , only moments after the doctor said she was well enough to go home from the hospital, I found myself standing in the corner of an emergency room in that same hospital with a medical team surrounding her bed. The team worked like a well running machine - attaching monitors, inserting an IV, drawing blood, - at least 10 of them working with speed and precision. As the team worked, I watched her eyes become fixed, unmoving; she did not respond to the nurse shouting in her ear, but seemed to be staring at something only she could see. In a matter of mere seconds, her skin turned a strange gray color as the shadow of death passed over her. Then I heard someone on the medical team say. She's not breathing....bag her! A team member placed a bag over her face and squeezed air - she began to breathe again. Then, she began to seizure. I watched, helpless, understanding how fragile life itself is; I knew in that moment the powerless feeling of watching someone I love dearly hovering between life and death. I thank God for the brilliant brains and hands of the doctors and nurses - but their own humanity limits them - the very best doctors and nurses can't always save their patients. In the end, God's final decision was to let her live on here a while longer. It won't be easy for her living in her aged body, though - it's pretty worn and tired - but she'll continue traveling this road of life for now. We don't know what else she will accomplish or contribute to this earthly life, but I know some of us still need to hear more of her words of wisdom, be encouraged as only she can encourage us, and feel her warm, soft, hugs a few more times.
By Becky Benedict