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  • Writer's pictureVicki Prentice

My mother went to heaven

It was 20 years ago today, on January 16, 2002, that I received a phone call from my sister, Jacki, telling me that our mother had passed away. The news was both a shock and a relief.

It was a shock because in the 18 years she had been in the nursing home suffering from multiple sclerosis, we had received many calls from the nursing home alerting us to the fact that Mom was slipping away and that we should probably come right away if we wanted to see her. We would rush out to Minnesota, from wherever we lived, and Mom would always rally; evidently, it wasn't her time just yet.

It was a relief because Mom had suffered so much in the 19 years since they diagnosed her with MS. After talking for a while with my sister, I hung up the phone, sat down at my computer, and pulled up a blank page. Almost immediately, my fingers began to dance on the keys and within minutes, the words of this poem spilled out on the page.

My mother went to heaven tonight

Where angels are singing and laughing,

Over one who has suffered so long

Now leaping with joy and dancing in pure delight.

My mother went to heaven tonight

Where Jesus greets her with open arms,

Drawing her close to dry all her tears

Whispering, "I'll never let you out of my sight."

My mother went to heaven tonight

Where the splendor of eternity awaits her,

Gone is this life's suffering and pain;

Everything that was once wrong is now made right.

My mother went to heaven tonight

Where she's no longer a prisoner

Of her own body, but free at last

Rejoice with her, for she is in heaven tonight!

It's been a long 20 years, and so many times I have grieved the fact that Mom has missed out on so much here on earth, especially getting to know and love all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. However, I wouldn't wish her back for anything. Her life was a hard life; perhaps I shall write more about that another time. For now, I just want to say, I love you, Mom, and I look forward to seeing you again someday.

NOTE: The photo is one of my favorites of my mom, taken at my wedding in November 1978, which was less than four years before diagnosed with MS, and only five years before she went into the nursing home.

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