In 1999, my mother got terribly ill. She would tell me that there was something very wrong with her nose and sinuses. Her doctor had her on some kind of sedative since the passing of my father in 1997.
Her doctor would tell me that she had “hysterical female” syndrome. Now, I’m certainly no feminist, but I could not help but feel that her doctor was blowing off my mother’s complaints and blaming everything on losing my dad.
Mom was a very smart and rather independent lady. She was the best bridge player in her building – the ladies fought over her – wanting her to be on their team. She read the news front to back and was always up on current events.
Trips to the ER
Mom was so convinced that something was wrong that she would call 911 and go by ambulance to the emergency room several times. The doctors there never called for any CT Scans or MRI’s to rule out something physical causing her complaints.
But then my mom began to slur her words, and that was alarming. It was so bad that I could not understand anything she was saying. She thought that she was speaking to me clearly, and when I didn’t understand her, she would get mad.
The Last Doctor’s Visit
I went with my mother to her doctor when none of us could understand what she was trying to say to us. When we were back in his exam room, he heard my mom attempting to speak. He took me aside and said that he was sure that she was taking too many sedatives; and also that “hysterical female” diagnosis came out of his mouth.
I prayed in my head for the Lord to keep me from slapping him! I was very upset. I demanded that he put my mother in the hospital and have them do appropriate testing to rule out a physical problem.
He told me that he would NOT put my mother in the hospital and that he was 100% sure that it was psychological and not physical. At that point, I could not speak to him any longer. I felt a rage come up inside of me.
I took my mom home and stayed with her until she was ready to sleep.
The next day I received a call from a neurologist at the local hospital. My mother had called 911 again and was in the ER. The doctor said that a CT-Scan showed that my mom had a large and inoperable tumor in her brain. He told me that most likely it had been growing for months.
I met my sisters and brother at the hospital. The doctor was sure that the tumor was malignant. He said that it was embedded in the area of the brain which controls speech and memory.
A biopsy was done, and they told us that the cancer was the most aggressive type known.
Chemo and Radiation?
After being told by the oncologist that chemotherapy and radiation might only give my mother 4-6 weeks to live, we had a family meeting. My brother and I said that we should bring mom home and keep her comfortable with her family around her.
My two sisters wanted chemo and radiation, and that is how they treated the cancer. A few days into the chemotherapy, my mom began aggressive behavior toward the nurses. She would trip them and hit them. Her oncologist told us that there were heavy amounts of steroids mixed in with the chemo, and thought that it was causing the erratic behavior.
One day when I came to visit my mom, I was shocked to see that she had been tied down to her bed. I went to the nurses’ station and told them that it was too dangerous to restrain my mother like that. I asked them if it was even legal. What about the possibility of a fire? The head nurse immediately untied my mom.
The Private Nurse Hand-Picked by Our Lord Himself
One of my sisters hired a private nurse to stay with mom for most of the day. I came to see mom every day after work. I walked into her room and saw the private nurse. She introduced herself, and I did the same. Then a remarkable thing happened. This nurse (I think that she was Jamaican) looked into my eyes and said to me, “You know the Lord Jesus!”
The reason I said that this was remarkable was that my mother’s last name was Rosenberg, and most people would know that was Jewish. But this beautiful nurse knew that I was born again! She saw Jesus when she looked in my eyes.
Through tears I told her that I indeed knew Jesus and that He was my Savior. We hugged. She was crying too.
Singing Hymns Day after Day
Every day I would come for my visit. The nurse would tell me that she had sung hymns to my mom all day long! She said that my mother would smile and that her favorite was Amazing Grace. I knew that God Himself had chosen this nurse for my mother.
The irony to this story is that the sister who hired this private nurse was and is an atheist! When I pondered in my heart that this was indeed a miracle from God, I kept it to myself. I didn’t want my sister to fire this nurse. I treasured the thought that this sister in Christ was with my mother while I worked, and that she sang hymns and talked to mom about Jesus. What a Savior!
When my mom was close to death, the private nurse was also a hospice nurse and remained with her. I was there, holding my mom’s hand when she took her last breath.
The nurse hugged me and said, “Don’t worry about her. She is with our Lord.”
I had led my father to the Throne of Grace in 1997 on the very night of his death. I had been writing to my father about Jesus and how He truly was the Messiah. I keep letters from my dad in my Bible. He began to watch Billy Graham crusades whenever they were on TV. Mom and Dad lived in Melbourne, FL for a few years.
Mom was convinced that Dad was “meshuganah” (crazy in Yiddish), but I smiled whenever she complained to me about him. She wanted nothing to do with Jesus.
I pray that my mom truly understood the Gospel because of the nurse whom our Lord had chosen for her. And I pray that she trusted in the Lord Jesus for her Salvation. I pray that she is in heaven with my father waiting for me.
It WAS Amazing Grace that God in His compassion and mercy had sent this beautiful daughter of His to care for my mom in her last days – physically and spiritually!
What a Mighty God we serve!
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