This is the last photograph of my mom and me together before she died in March of 2013. It is not my favorite picture from that visit. My mom’s spontaneous laugh was captured in a different picture. I would have picked that one, but I can hear my mom’s disapproval. Her expression was more laugh and less smile and she would not have liked it as well.
But that wasn’t the last picture. I spent time with my mom one month before her death. Much to my chagrin, I realized I had forgotten my camera when I was halfway into the six hour trip to visit her. I wouldn’t have wanted that time to be my last picture. She was unsteady on her feet and she had a difficult time speaking.
But that wasn’t the last picture. As family surrounded my mom in the hospital room, there was another picture etched in my mind. My mom laid in the bed unresponsive except for the involuntary function of breathing, until even that became voluntary. I watched my mom take her last breath.
But that isn’t the last picture. The last picture is the one I carry in my heart through my mom’s faith and mine in Jesus Christ. This picture of eternity in heaven is fuzzy with my human eyes, but I imagine my mom praising God and dancing on streets of gold. This last picture is my very favorite for I can clearly see my mom’s best smile ever.
1 Peter 1:3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you,
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.