she’s in another dimension
Note: I wrote this post six years ago when my mom lay dying in hospice. I am reposting it now because it is Easter. And at Easter, I think about my mom’s death – and her resurrection. I think about the transition she made: life to death, then death to life. It makes me think about that greeting my mom received when Christ welcomed her home. Makes me want that greeting too.
“She’s in another dimension,” Marita said. She was the hospice nurse who had just come in to check on my mom.
She showed me the creeping bruises on Mom’s arms, the shallow breathing, the cool hands, and the lapses in breath. “Yes,” I repeated back to Marita, “She’s in another dimension.”
Earlier that morning, when I first walked into Mom’s room, I was stunned by the change of three days. Mom’s head always tilted a bit toward her right shoulder, but today the angle wasn’t right; it was too sharp, too stiff. Her jaw hung wrong. She was pale. Her soft brown eyes, so predictably attentive to me, were filmed and focused elsewhere.
I told her who I was. She blinked. Are you in there, Mom? I wondered.
Yes, I definitely saw her left eyebrow raise. It was that slight flutter, a twinkle/twitter thing that she does. Funny, I’ve never put words to that ‘thing she does’ before. Yet, I realize now how much I search for it when I see her. I look for it and when she does it, it confirms that I am there. Whenever I see her, I expect and want it. I even compete for it.
For that matter, when I walk into any room with anybody, I work for a greeting. But Mom always just gave it to me. “There you are!” her eyebrow would say. Because she believed that I was there, then I believed it, too. At least for a little while, I would believe that ‘I am.’
It was her face, after all, her little twinkle/twitter eyebrow thing that was my first human experience of being told that I am real. Her face suggested to me that I have a face. Her flashes and flickers taught me that I flash and flicker. My mom’s womb literally transported me into this dimension of real and her face confirmed it with a thousand greetings.
But Mom isn’t exactly inside her face now. Yes, I saw the remnant of the twinkle/twitter, but her eyes are focused elsewhere; she is partly elsewhere. She is being transported to another dimension where the great ‘I AM’, the great Twinkle/Twitter, will greet her and shout, “There you are!”
Mom, who gave me generous tastes of that greeting, will soon have the real thing.
Roger Edwards joined The Barnabas Center in 1991. He works with both with individuals and couples, helping people confess their need and embrace their available choices to lead healthier lives. Roger also teaches and leads discussion groups and retreats applying the Gospel to everyday life. He is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), holds a master’s degree in biblical counseling from Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana and earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is married to Jean and they have seven children and nine grandchildren.