J.'s Mom Departs at Age 93
Fri., Nov. 4. 2022 11:45pm EDT
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX (That Christian Parody Band) here.
I have some bittersweet news to share. My mother, Patricia Joyce Jackson, passed away in the wee hours of Thursday morning, November 3. She had turned 93 this past July and was eager to go. One time a number of years ago, my sister called her and asked what she was doing at the time, and she replied, "Waiting for God."
Numerous times since then, especially since Dad passed away in January 2020, she had referred to herself as being "in the waiting room." God mercifully allowed things to happen rather quickly … after 93 years, of course.
As was the case with my dad, I got to be the last family member to have a two-way conversation with my mom (I'm the only one of my siblings who lives in the state, and I had visited her Tuesday afternoon) and my youngest older sister, Gayle, got to be there when she drew her last breath.
Gayle noticed that same parallel with what happened with my dad as I did. I'm very grateful that I got that honor of talking with each of my parents last and that Gayle got the honor of being there when each of them passed. Our sister Kris lives a thousand miles away, but will be here this weekend.
Mom had a steep decline Wednesday morning, so the assisted-living place where she lived called and suggested that I might want to come out again. She'd fallen in the middle of the night, which is what happened to my dad right before he died, too. However, I'd already sensed during my visit the day before that she wasn't going to be around much longer.
Because of that, I even took special note at the time of the last thing she told me. As I was getting ready to leave, from out of the blue, she had said, "I think the Lord's got you in His hands." Immediately after I left her apartment that day, I sent myself a text message so I would remember her quote exactly.
I was there with Mom nine hours on Wednesday (my Aunt Mary was there, too, and my Aunt Pauli joined us later, and then Gayle arrived after that, since she had to drive up from a couple states away), but Mom was already unresponsive to communication at that point.
Even the times when her eyes were open, it was obvious her mind was not there. Her hands did not grip back when we held them. Nevertheless, I've been told that hearing is the last thing to go, and we were able to say plenty of things to her, sing to her, and pray for her.
Thankfully, Mom had been responsive and conversational the previous day during my visit and last weekend when Gayle visited. However, Mom had told me she was starting to have delusions, although she said she could still tell the difference between the delusions and the dreams, and she gave me examples that proved that.
As I stood in the doorway right before I left Tuesday afternoon, she looked above me (I'm 6'6") and must have seen something, because she said, "Whoa." It may have been the only time in my life I ever heard her make an exclamation like that.
Her funeral service will be held Monday morning in our hometown of Greensburg PA.
Yes, this is bittersweet news, but it's far more sweet than bitter. We'll miss our mother, but we know she has gone on to be with other family members whom she missed, including my dad, my oldest sister, Jeannine (who was very close to Mom and passed in 2002 at age 48), and her own parents.
On Thursday afternoon, Gayle showed me a journal she'd found in which Mom had written a number of entries between late February and early March. Here's something she wrote on February 24:
"I was born into a family of saints; everyone has been so good to me. Thank you, God!"