Mom Went to be with the Lord

This is a beautiful picture of a sunset's beams coming through clouds and onto the ocean in one of Saipan's beaches. The photography is by our brother Beau Tomokane. He took it sometime later the day Mom died.

This is a beautiful picture of a sunset's beams coming through clouds and onto the ocean in one of Saipan's beaches. The photography is by our brother Beau Tomokane. He took it sometime later the day Mom died.

Mom was an incredible woman. It's so difficult to write that --- was --- and not is.

Though our family misses her incredibly we are happy she is no longer suffering like she has been. Amazingly, she knew she was dying. When I called her on Monday April 21st, Saipan time, she started giving me a lot of her death wishes out of nowhere. She let me know that she had discussed with Dad about wanting funeral arrangements with Pastor David McClure of First Baptist Church of As Gonno.

She asked me Franicia and Tim to get her book completed. Mom said, "Can I put you and Tim in charge of my book? I want you to finish the last edits and see it to completion. Can you do that?" I gulped. It hurt my heart to say, "Yes Mom" because she was talking and telling me she was going to die very soon.

Mom asked me to choose her obituary photo and to handle the care of all of her pictures mostly taken on film. She said, "Franicia, I want you to be in charge of my pictures. I don't want people touching them or taking them away."

She shared so many things and I just couldn't believe it. I was surprised how much research she had done. Mom said, "I don't want to stay in the morgue long --- just a few days --- not this long drawn out process." She continued to tell me more things and that she had discussed them with Dad.

"Okay Mom can you send me the file?"

"My hand is hurting. Send me a text message tomorrow to remind me."

"Yes Mom. I love you!"

We said our goodbyes.

Shortly that night after midnight she was taken by ambulance.

This is a beautiful sunset photo where the beams are on the ocean and a pair of canoes passing by on a beautiful Saipan beach. The photography was by our brother Beau Tomokane.
This is a beautiful sunset photo where the beams are on the ocean and a pair of canoes passing by on a beautiful Saipan beach. The photography was by our brother Beau Tomokane.

I wrote to her as instructed the next day, my time (CST), and I received the message back that Mom was admitted to the hospital. From then on her body started to rapidly become more incapable. One day she was walking, then she could barely speak. Most of her words were incoherent at this time.

Her body was showing signs of liver shut down. One day during her stay the doctor told them she had anywhere from 3-6 months to live.  She didn't want anyone to know at this point how much time she had left.

Within days that life expectancy dwindled to 1 month and then finally we were told she had hours to two weeks to live. Her skin had turned yellow and other symptoms were more evident of her losing efficient liver function.

So many more things had been going on.  And sometime before 2 a.m. my time, we received that unbelievable call.  Beau told Tim that Mom was dead now.  He asked to break it to me gently.  Tim couldn't believe what he was hearing that he had to ask Beau to repeat himself.

We cried together and prayed together.  I told Tim again how I couldn't believe it and started to list some things I'm going to miss about her.  I had been saying these things during the past week.

We were also comforted in our deep pain that Mom is no longer suffering terribly.  And suffer she did.  Many years ago she put her faith on Jesus Christ's work on the cross (John 3:16, Acts 16:31) and became a born-again Christian.  She put her trust in Jesus and not in her works.  She knew she was going to Heaven to be with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5).  Because of that, we have great hope that we will see her again in Heaven!

I was still laying in bed holding Tim's hand and crying with him.  I thought we were going to be able to see her on time with our flight to Saipan this weekend.

With tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, I held up my free hand to touch the sky and softly cried out the words, "I love you Mom.  See you soon."