Sorry for the short hiatus.We’ve had a tiny bit of a long week here in the Wyma house. Beyond finals and the festivities surrounding end of semester Christmas cheer and switching the blog to WordPress (I still have some tweaking to do, but hope you like it!!), Jon’s mom went to be home with the Lord late last week.
We got a call on Tuesday that sweet Lucille Wyma had stopped taking food and liquids. After struggling with Alzheimer’s (in her case, more of a frontal lobe dementia) for over twelve years, her body was calling it quits. Jon headed up to Chicago to sit with his dad while they both held her hand, sang hymns, and prayed. Hour upon hour they encouraged her and reminisced about all the wonderful memories that shared together. Brothers and a sister joined them. Late evening on Thursday, with her breathing well, they left to grab a bite to eat. True to form, always the hostess, she apparently waited until they were gone before deciding to head home herself. What a joyful arrival it must have been. I could almost hear the “Well done, good and faithful servant”s from here.
This sweet lady served her Savior with every ounce of her being her entire life. Whether sitting with her little children amongst an indigenous tribe of people on a tributary of the Amazon waiting for her husband to return from a trip further into the jungle or serving meals to countless hungry mouths or encouraging/guiding the throngs that sought her wisdom or laughing with her youngest son (my husband) as she cheered him to victory on a soccer field – she exuded her faith. Her well-worn Bible reveals her love for His word. No bare spots. Every page turned … countless times.
Filled to the brim, all one needed to do was bump into her for Jesus to spill all over them. Even as she mentally checked out of reality, she never checked out on Him. With her internal radar autopilot searching like a ship on a mission, she could sense a person in need from across the nursing home. Of course, she never stopped with the sensing. No, she she would walk over and tell a lonely person how much they were loved… loved by her Savior. Yes, she was a faithful servant to the end.
Watching someone die is far from easy. Make it your mom and hold on. The love of your life and … well, that’s what is the most interesting. Jon told me that as he and his dad sat, enduring every moan-filled breath that passed the lips of the emaciated, gaunt, shell of a woman, he couldn’t help but notice the way his dad looked at her. “Isn’t she beautiful?” his dad said over and over, caressing her face, brushing her hair to the side. He said it almost in awe of the beauty he was witnessing. Mesmerized. … Not quite what Jon was seeing.
When he told me about it, I thought of the amazing love story that has transpired over the last six years and his dad’s thousands of elevator rides to the 4th floor, full care unit where Jon’s mother has been living. A husband dutifully fulfilling his pledge has been living a life he had never expected or hoped for. He had struggled through the loneliness, the monotony, the selflessness, the hardship, the outbursts, the tears, and pureed pizza… all for the love of his life. She made the unbearable bearable… he even found joy. He especially found love.
The unlovely became lovely … so beautiful.
As with most little life pictures, it’s hard to stop there. As Jon described the comparison of what he was seeing to what his dad was seeing, I was struck at my own gaunt shell. Not physically, but spiritually … before the One who loves me that sees beyond my but-a-breath-away-from-death exterior and transforms it to beautiful life. Like the bridegroom watching his bride, our Savior sees beyond the sin, washes away the sin, and so finds beauty. A mesmerizing beauty that is in all reality nothing more than a reflection of Him.
I’m pretty sure that Dick was gazing on all that beauty, Christs’ beauty, as his bride slipped from this life to the next… as she prepared to touch the One whose gift of love transforms our gaunt to radiant.
Thanks for walking the road with me.