Saturday, June 9, 2012
Hymn Sings for Mom
[Our Mother, Janelle McDowell; Daughters, Teresa & Dena; & Sons, David & Robert]
It's been a while since I've been to an old fashioned hymn sing but I just experienced several of them in the past few days and I wasn't even in church. My mom, 82 passed away today, June 9 at my brother's home in Pennsylvania where her four kids were gathered by her side this past week.
During one of our evenings with mom this past week we decided to sing some hymns without accompaniment. My brother sang harmony and I struggled to keep the melody but those old hymns still sounded great. From mom's perspective, God had mysteriously transported us into a heavenly church sanctuary where all of God's people were singing out God's praises even though this was all taking place in my brother's family room. At the close of our last hymn, mom managed enough energy to clutch her hands in front of her in a posture of prayer.
The next hymn sing was two evenings later when my brother pounded out the great old hymns on the piano so that our mom could hear them from the bedroom where she was now confined. Each hymn spoke of the assurance we can have through our faith in Christ. "This is my story. This is my song. Praising my Savior all the day long."
Around 3:15 in the morning, we experienced our third and final hymn sing of the week. This one had a much different feel. Instead of loud praises, our sister, the nurse who was with mom during those early morning hours, gently woke us up to join in singing a beautiful song offering her to the Lord. We sang her into heaven at 3:36 A.M.
As we struggled to sing the song over and over again to our mom, we could sense that our voices were being drowned out by the angelic heavenly voices welcoming her home.