Saturday, July 12, 2014

This Week With Neena

When John and I called California to wish my mother a happy Fourth of July, my sister informed us that Mom was napping. I asked if anything was wrong, since Mom didn't usually nap during the day, but my sister only responded by reminding me that Neena (our pet name for Mom) was 98 years old. I accepted her answer, and went on with my afternoon.

Sunday we called again, this time after supper--our  usual time to call. My older niece answered, and told us Neena was napping and my sister had gone to work. I could hear my niece's kids in the background, and thought it  very uncharacteristic for my Southern mom to leave guests so unattended. My niece assured me that Mom was okay,  but John and I went to bed suspecting something had changed.

Monday morning, Mom answered.  "I might as well tell you," she said, "my cancer came back about two months ago. Okay, now the whole family knows." Neena, being a private person to excess, hadn't wanted me to know. Partly, she didn't want to upset me, and partly she feared that I'd say something on Facebook. Much to my surprise, she requested that I ask people to pray for her, though I tried to use discretion in who I asked...especially in my church  in California.

Each day I communicated with my sister and her two daughters, but Neena never could talk when I called. I spent time updating those who prayed, as well as writing her a letter. Being 3000 miles away didn't lessen my involvement or activity.

John and I had made plans to meet a friend in Boston for lunch yesterday, and we knew Mom would be angry if we canceled those plans on her account. Not wanting to arouse my mother's Irish temper, we took the bus to the subway station, and  caught the train to Downtown Crossing. We needed a day of fun!

We got  to Boston Common and called my sister to ask if Mom felt up  to talking. That's when my sister told us Mom had passed during the night. As we hung up, the bell  tower at Park Street Church started playing its noon hymns. I love hearing those hymns on the Common, so I appreciate the Lord having me in my favorite place at my favorite time. Very special!

Taken Mother's Day of this year


  1. Wow, your mother looks great in that pic! May God continue to comfort you.

  2. 98?! She was/is beautiful! What a wonderful reunion to look forward to :)


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