Death is an interesting challenge to what you always believe about faith and the nature of God.

I am sitting with my mom this morning literally watching her wait for death to come. I am no longer asking for a miracle healing, though. I thought that was a good, faith-filled approach, but I realize that I don’t actually believe that kind of miracle is possible now.

I guess I have a limited understanding of the nature of miracles.

I don’t quite believe the ‘amount of’ my faith has anything to do with her passing or healing. That is all in God’s hands. If it depends on my faith, she’s surely gone soon. I am looking at a woman who feels worse than she has ever felt in her life, quietly agreeing with what I hear her utter: please, God, make it soon.

My love of God and trust in Him does not change through this (at least, I don’t think so at the moment). But it sure forces the desire to have answers, this cancer that’s all but killed mom. It’s a bit frustrating, too, to see that she’s not going to pull out of this one, and also frustrating not to see my request for a soon passing being granted — a simple, merciful request.

My brother and his fiancee have been, essentially, up all night with her, and I am spelling them at the moment. A hospice nurse is due at 11:00. It’s a little after 10, now.

I can’t help but think of all the times my kids were so sick, wondering how soon they’d be well. We think of wellness when we’re sick. We tray so hard to get well again. But as my dad quipped while folding to the onslaught of prostate cancer, “Eventually something you get will be terminal.”

“True, Dad,” I nod to myself quietly, “and when Mom gets there, I hope you’re both in your twenties. You guys looked so amazingly full of life in your twenties… and I’d like to know you in your twenties when I get there.”

I also think of what my mom went through with our illnesses and injuries as kids. I know she cried over us, sometimes. I heard her. Now the roles are reversed, and tears come to my eyes as I watch this wonderful woman with a broken body feeling worse than she’s ever felt in her 84 and a half years, waiting for death to relieve her.

We both wait for death to relieve her.