When I drove to my hometown in January, I had no idea of what lay ahead. What I thought would be a day trip, a weekend at most, would evolve into something completely different.

My mother and I spoke of the azaleas blooming all over. Lavender and hot pink azaleas were ablaze in her yard. Spring often comes early to Tallahassee, even still, January was way too soon.

 Our “trials” would teach me perseverance. My faith was indeed tested. I was blessed with prayers and understanding from family and friends in my “hometown” as well as “back home” outside of Atlanta.

Mommy’s initial surgery went well. Then, doctors would find the need to do another. She was out of one hospital and into another to transition to rehab.

Or, so we thought.

We talked and laughed.  We caught up with each other, watched television all while she would prod me, “Don’t you need to go home?”

I assured her there was no place I would rather be. I was blessed to be at her side, listening to doctors, giving my advice and whatever I could do for the woman who hadn’t been hospitalized since giving birth to me!

I would eventually put up her Christmas tree as it began to look oddly strange on Groundhog Day. I tidied up. I purchased a microwave for the kitchen that had gone forty-five years without one.

 Mommy was a good patient, exceeding expectations and many prayers were answered.  She pushed through surgeries, pain and discomfort. Only a few times did she ever complain, and prodded by docs to do even that.

Six weeks to the day of that emergency appendectomy I kissed her and said, “You’re going to be just fine.”

Those were the last words I would say to her before they put her under. I didn’t think too much of it. Just another hurdle to overcome like so many before.

I would later cry among those pink azaleas, uncontrollably and not sure why. Mommy’s condition hadn’t changed, but maybe God was changing me. After everything she had gone through, it was the first time I really contemplated that she might not return home.

Family and friends prayed for healing.

I often wonder now what she prayed.

Each week spent in the hospital meant the road to recovery became longer and longer. Mommy told me she did not want to suffer any lengthy illness. Or become a burden. She knew all too well what it entailed to be a caregiver. She had done it herself for years.

But, the woman who loved me faithfully and selflessly could never become a burden to me. Couldn’t she see how much I loved her?

Or maybe, just maybe, Mommy loved me more.

In the end, I was correct when I told her “she would be just fine.”

Those pink azaleas gave way to white.

 On the third of March, God called her home. And I suspect after seven weeks of poking and prodding, she was ready to go.

“Home” isn’t the same anymore.

The yellow house on the corner is just another house without her in it. When I think of home, my mind now looks toward a place of peace and joy unlike any other. One without pain. No doctors. No tears.

See you when I get home…

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 NKJV

By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist


  1. I’m so sorry to hear that.
    My mother said the same thing to me when she took ill.
    [I don’t want to be a burden…]
    Looking back it was a blessing to be able to take care of the woman who took care of so many people all her life.
    She caught me crying once before she passed.
    I tried so hard not to do it in front of her but it just came out.
    She pulled me close to her and whispered in my ear…”Baby you will see Mommy again.”
    That’s the promise I remind you of.
    You will see her again. Amen!
    Take your time getting back we understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind and comforting words Vernon. They really are a blessing this morning. I know I’ll see her again. I know she is with our Father. It’s amazing that even in their illnesses, our Mothers were comforting their children! B Blessed and enjoy a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Susan! It’s good to be back. Mommy was my biggest cheerleader when it came to getting me back into writing. I will now have a bit more time on my hands so I should be around a bit more. Love you! And thanks once again for keeping me on the grid 🙂


    1. Thank you so much Karen. Yes, my year began a bit wildly. I didn’t return back to Georgia until mid March and as you can imagine it has taken it a bit to sink in. Hopefully, Ill be able to read and write a bit more. B Blessed!


  2. Reblogged this on rodraphael and commented:
    By knowing Kay, I realized that there are truly angels among us. They don’t have glorious large wings or wear long flowing white robes. They often do not stand out from the crowd or do earth shattering deeds that people come from all over to witness. They watch over you without you knowing. They protect you by giving gentle suggestions. They help you grow by feeding you when your hungry or sharing their wisdom. They know when and what to give you just at the right time. When their job is done here on earth, God call them back with simple words. “Well Done” Kay was our angel on earth and now she is our angel in heaven. I know she is reading this and I just want her to know. “WELL DONE”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so sorry about the loss of your mother. I am glad you had a chance to spend some time with her before God called her home. It will take some time before your memories will bring you more joy than heartache. You were right that your mommy loved you more. We always love our children more. When your heart aches for her, remember she is just fine!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow !!! What a testimony ! Lilka, you are an amazing woman of God and I know that your mother is extremely proud of you. God bless you !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My sincere condolences. I am sorry for your loss and separation through death from your Mommy. It is painful even though you are assured she is now free from pain and at home with our Heavenly Father. Your writing about her is sincere and beautiful. I pray that you still feel her close to you in the world about you. Love and blessings, Julia x

    Liked by 1 person

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