Home About Hartline   Our Agents   Our Authors   Submissions   Blog   Contact Us

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Last Words You Speak…


December 8, 2009

Last night the phone rang at 7:50. I didn’t rush to answer, figuring the call was for my fifteen-year-old daughter. My husband answered and said it was my mother. I looked at the clock and realized she was calling during her favorite television program, Wheel of Fortune. I never call her during Wheel of Fortune. If the show is on at an odd time and Momma has the TV running, I can hear her tell Daddy, “Pig in a Poke,” or whatever the puzzle solution is as she divides her attention between the show and the conversation. For her to call then, I knew something terrible had happened.

Momma reported that one of my cousins, a fifteen-year-old, was in the hospital on a respirator and it didn’t look good. She told me she would keep me posted. The news was so shocking to our family that she said some of my relatives couldn’t even comprehend it. After she hung up, I couldn’t resist hugging my own daughter and thanking God we still have her.

My daughter was playing her piano recital piece for me at 7:20 this morning when the phone rang.

All I could say was, “He died.”

I didn’t know him well, but I do know his parents love each other, and they loved him, just as they love their two remaining sons. I know his grandparents loved him very much. The home where he lived is one of the most spacious and lovely in town. He was a good student. By all appearances, his future was bright. But now he will no longer be able to enjoy the pleasures of life, or to give joy to others. He left the world in a matter of hours, giving those he loved no time to prepare.

Like my cousin, many people leave without a final farewell. As Christians, we know that our loved ones who have gone ahead of us are in a better place than we are, but that doesn’t fill the hole in our hearts. That’s one reason why I always try to end every departure, even if it’s only for a day, with the words “I love you” falling from my lips. For if God chooses to take a loved one of mine today, those words will be the last I will have spoken.

12 comments:

Lynda Schab said...

I'm so sorry, Tamela. Prayers for your family during this difficult time. And you are so right...time is short and we never know when ours will come to an end. It's so important to express our love as often as possible. I'm off to hug my kids...

Rita Gerlach said...

I'm sorry for your family's loss, Tamela. During those dark moments when I feel grief welling up in me, I hold on to this scripture.

Revelation 21:4
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh dear. I will pray for your family, Tamela. My Daddy passed away suddenly on Dec. 20th, when I was ten. I hadn't seen him in months. I wish I'd told him, "I love you" when we last said good-bye. I know He's in Jesus' Home now, but still...

Shmologna said...

This is sad. I'm sorry for your family's loss. But as your cousin looks down from his shining home in heaven, I'm sure he will be happy to know that his death is a reminder to your family...and now the readers of this blog...to never take for granted the moments we have today. May God bless you.

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Tamala,I'm sorry to learn of the loss in your family of one so young. I have teenage sons, too. The pain has to be great for his parents. May you and they take comfort from the promises in the Word of God in the days ahead. We can never say I love you often enough to those close to us.

Lauralee Bliss said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, Tamela. Thank you for your thoughtful post.

writer jim said...

Another thought about last words:

One night I awoke with indescribable chest pain. I was SURE I would die within seconds or at least 5 minutes. I did not even think about calling 911. I did not even think to ask God to let me live. I fell on my knees and began thanking God for everything I could think of...during my life. I was totally concentrating on going out thanking God.

After a few minutes, I thought I was about at my last breath...and I said "I'm sorry, God, but is it OK if I try to get up in the chair so my wife will find me there instead of on the floor?" I made it in the chair, and the next thing I knew: I woke up 4 hrs later feeling normal.

Clearly, I believe being fervently thankful to God is important; both for us and to Him.

Tamela, So sad for the loss: Amazingly, some of my best friends, dedicated Christians, have lost a child.

Tamela Hancock Murray said...

Thank you all so much for your kind words, thoughts,insights, and prayers!

Martha Ramirez said...

Oh Tamela, you brought tears to my eyes. Your story really touched my heart and I am sure that anyone who reads is touched as well.

I am so sorry for your loss!

It's always the ones that are left behind that suffer. Only God knows the answer why, and we must trust in His care.

My heart truly goes out to you and your family. My prayers are with you all!

Trish Perry said...

Like Martha, I cried reading your post, Tamela. His poor parents--I can't even imagine their pain.

Thanks for the reminder of how important "I love you" is.

sanjeet said...

During those dark moments when I feel grief welling up in me, I hold on to this scripture.

Work from home India

Debbie said...

Tamela,

Your words are a good reminder not to let the busyness or frustrations of life keep us from telling our family members each day that we love them. Thank you.

I can't imagine the grief your family must be experiencing at this time. I will be praying for all of you.