My mother, Esther Piippo, died last Saturday, November 20, 2004, at 2:15 AM. My brother Mike and I and Linda were able to be with her just before she died. She was weak and frail, having struggled with a failing heart valve, an infection that did not go away for many months, an increasing inability to eat and drink, and with that the loss of desire to eat and drink.
In her weakness she found it excruciatingly tough to even open her eyes. I asked her once, "Mom, open your eyes - it's me. I'm here with you." And just for a brief moment there was a small window of visual opportunity as she opened her eyes, saw me, and I smiled at her.
Now she is with God. Now she is in eternity. This was her hope and is mine also.
I find this hope to be real and convincing intellectually. But also, experientially it works to give me inner peace. At a time like this I see that, yes, I am a believer.
All the needed words of love were said between me and mom. No bitterness, no unhealed wounds, no regrets. This is the way it should happen and it makes a huge difference in the aftermath.
So I give a final earthly tribute to you, mom. You were a faithful wife to dad and a loving mother to Mike and me. You still are the best cook I've ever known. You turned me on to nature early, and I still watch birds because of you. Your love for music and artistic creativity hooked me on to the guitar and songwriting. Your tenderness towards this world's "least of these" was Christlike. You prayed with me and held me and loved me even when I went astray from God as a late teen. You accepted my beautiful wife Linda and loved my three boys. Now you are in eternity with dad - see you very soon...