~The Day I Said Goodbye to My Sister~

Written By , winner of the contest.

I was at work on Thursday in May of 2009 when I received the call. Cynthia was at the hospital and it didn’t look good. She was in bad shape and it was time to call the family in. I immediately left for Yakima, where she had been taken.
It wasn’t the first time we had been afraid we would lose her. In all the many years in which she battled chronic, debilitating illness, there were a couple times that I made that dreaded drive, worried that I would have to say my goodbyes, but praying all along the way that God would spare her and bring her through. And He did.

But this time was different. There was urgency in this call. So I went and it was not good.

Other family members were already there with her, my sisters, my Mom. It was a troubling sight, seeing her struggling for life. Little was to be done.

 

She was admitted to a room and as the day wore on, the family gathered and waited. It was a harsh reality, a first for our family. Being from a large, very close family of 8 siblings, and later, many foster children who we called brothers and sisters, we certainly had our share of tragedy and troubles, but we had not lost one of our 8. We were all heartbroken.

The atmosphere was quiet, but even in this time of grief and waiting for an end we were not ready to see come, my wonderful family found comfort in being there together, still finding little things which held some remnant of joy. We all sat in vigil through the night. Medication had quieted our dear sister, but the expected outcome did not change.

After a long, restless night, Friday came and we continued waiting through the morning. All of my siblings who lived in the area were there, their spouses, some of my nieces and nephews, my Mother and my Dad.

Later in the morning, there were some ever so subtle signs that maybe again, Cynthia was going to pull through. Small, faint signs of hope.
So in light of that, some of us went home for a while to rest.

 

When I got to my home in Prosser, and because I felt a deep sense of peace, my husband, children and I decided to go to town, in the opposite direction from where my sister and family were. I can’t say why I felt that way, because Cynthia was still in the hospital and certainly not well at all, but I felt like it was ok to go.

We had something to eat, and was at Walmart shopping, when I got a call from my sister Gwen. “Robin, you need to come. It won’t be long.”

A deep urgency hit me and I knew we had to go NOW!

Oh, why did I go to town?! Why did I feel like I should go an extra 25-30 miles away from where Cynthia was? I knew I would be pushing it. I had to go all the way back to Prosser, drop off Andy and the kids (we lived 5 miles outside of town), then drive another 35-40 miles to Yakima, and across the city to the hospital.

Praying all the way, I left Prosser, got on the freeway and pushed the speedometer as far as I dared, knowing that getting pulled over would only lengthen the already pressed time it was going to take to get there.

I prayed out loud all the way, crying, begging God to literally make time slow down so I could get there before she passed! I wanted to be there, I knew everyone was there. My family! This is what we do! We gather together for each other! 

I listened to Christian music cd’s the whole way, just trying to breath through my weeping and focus on driving safely and getting there!

Then, as I approached Yakima…..God gave me a gift.

About 8 minutes before I got to the hospital, I heard a song on the cd and the lyrics caught my heart. It went like this:

I hear music, no one’s singing

No one’s playing, I hear music

I am dancing, in the stillness

In the silence, I hear music

I hear music, no one’s singing

No one’s playing, I hear music

I am resting, in the stillness

In the silence, I hear music

Carried on the wings of Your Spirit

Bowing at Your holy feet

The symphony of worship, now I hear it

Waves of peace are washing over me

Your tenderness unspeakably sweet

 

I am singing, deep within me

You sing with me, I hear music

 

In the stillness, in the silence

In Your presence, I hear music

By Allen Asbury “I Hear Music”

https://youtu.be/qapNLPl8rrU

You can find this song online and I highly recommend it. It’s a beautiful song.

When I finally pulled into the hospital parking lot, my heart beat faster than ever. I just had to take the elevator up to her room, and hopefully, I won’t be too late.

But as I approached the elevator door, a family member stood and said she had passed away. No!! I didn’t make it! My heart sunk with regret!

I went upstairs and entered a solemn room. As the many members of my family were there trying to come to terms with this first-time-felt loss, my other sisters were gathered around her bed in the quiet moments following her passing.

Cynthia, my sister, who had suffered through so much in her short 53 years here, and through it all, always held her child-like love for Jesus, was now with Him. Her once contorted, crippled hands now lay so softly, as I took them into my own and said goodbye. We always knew that someday, this time would come. But today was that day.

I grieved the loss of my sister, but also was heartbroken that I was not there. Everyone was there, except for me. I didn’t understand why and I struggled with that for a long time until someone later helped me understand that maybe God had a reason for keeping me away, that it was for my benefit. Maybe it would have been too difficult for me. I don’t know, but I couldn’t, and cannot, change the way it happened. I trust that God knew what I did not.

But I do believe with all my heart, that at the moment Cynthia entered into heaven and met her Jesus face to face, this specific song played for me to hear. The time it played and the time she died coincided, and I felt that God allowed me to share in that moment in a different way.

As I heard the tender lyrics, I knew. Go back and read them again. Can’t you just picture it?! This song is about someone who is ever so gently leaving this earthly life and is entering into the presence of God! Carried by His Spirit! Bowing before His feet! Heaven standing still in silence because one of God’s children has come home! And it is so quiet that all you can hear is the music of heaven, and it sounds like a symphony!

So even though I did not stand by Cynthia’s bedside as she left this world, I felt it in my heart as I heard these words.

A precious gift. An everlasting consolation, until we meet again my dear sister.~

 

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