I found some of my long lost peace that night



It is Friday night, after the longest week since the last time I had the longest week... and my biggest plan is to read my new Dennis Lehane book and eat fried chicken strips.  The actual, crunchy, breaded in a bazillion carbs kind of chicken that not only hits that salty, crunchy sort of craving, but mostly just feeds the soul.  

And y'all, my soul is in its own place of hunger and confusion today, and begging to be filled.  I'll totally let you know if the chicken does the trick.  

My mom died yesterday morning when I was teaching my second class of the day.  And thanks to a work friend that stepped in for me,  I was able to see her one last time before the hospice nurse called the funeral home to come get her.  And let me just stick this little bit of my own brand of politics right on into this section... the hospice nurse was the kindest, gentlest, most patient gal - and exactly what I needed yesterday - and what my mom needed during her final hours.  And I couldn't love anyone more than I do my new friend, the Muslim, immigrant nurse from Kenya who loved on my mom when she needed it the most.  Her heart was evident, her caring glowed, and her hijab  - y'all, if I was Muslim, I would totally wear that thing.  Maybe I would wear it anyway.... It was beautiful.  But mostly?  She was beautiful.  

And thanks be to God for the care brought all the way to our family from so far away, and meant for exactly this moment in time.  "...God created you for such a time as this and he has a plan for you." (Esther 4:14) 

Tuesday night I learned that my mom had been placed on Crisis Care, which is around the clock nursing to manage pain and make the last days as easy as possible.  Fireman Dave took off work to come with me and the boys to get in one last great visit.  And it was.  

I don't even need fancy or pretty words to tell you that I found some of my long lost peace that night.  I was given the opportunity to sit with my mom alone before the first nurse arrived, and we prayed.  Well, I prayed and I like to think she heard me.  And I prayed the exact thing that I had been asking for weeks, that God take her suffering away quickly and easily and allow her to get on with some real living.  

And for me as a believer, that means that at 10:00 am Thursday morning, my mom saw my dad and my sister, and my Muh and my Granddaddy for the first time in a lifetime -  and not only saw them as she knew them here, but as her new Heavenly neighbors and world's best welcome party organizers.  

And I think that I will write about this more later as I take time to give it all some thought... but that Tuesday night when I sat with her, I held her hand as we prayed.  The first ever memory I have of holding my mom's hand has made a lasting memory for me, and now I'm trying to decide what to do with it.  And how.  And when.  

But for now, I want to read and watch a distracting crime show on Netflix, and eat comfort food till my body feels like it can function again.  

And the good news is that I know it will.  I worked today, regular schedule.  And I will keep on doing it each day till it feels normal again.  I even taught one class yesterday with the news in my heart of my mom's death, and I promise you it wasn't easy, but it was good.  

post script - I swear the good lord knows me like no other, and always finds a way to shine a light into my darkness, and a way for the Walters to leave their mark wherever we go.  Thank you Fireman Dave for turning my tears into laughter as you set off the after hours burglar alarm in the nursing home  at 11pm Tuesday night.  Thank you for waking every single patient by doing exactly what that door sign asked you not to do -  and bringing half the nursing staff running to what sounded like  a prisoner escaping a maximum security prison.  And thank you for holding the door open for us all as we made our get away run to the car on such a night as this. 

It did my heart good.   




  1. Christi Harris-LazaroJuly 6, 2018 at 10:34 PM

    I'm sorry for your loss Kristi but I do believe you are right. Your mom was reunited with your dad, sister and grandparents which makes one more angel to watch over you. I can just imagine you all making your escape after setting off the alram! Great memories being made even during a very tough time. You needed that! Comfort, strength and hugs to you and the family.❤

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  2. So glad you had these moments with your mom, hearing is supposed to be the last sense we lose when we are near death. My sister’s doctor told me to keep praying when I sat with her and when I went hoarse after a few days modern technology came to my rescue via a rosary app. Your faith will carry you during the difficult days, weeks and months to come, Prayers for you and your family.

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  3. Kristi...I've read this several times and so admire your gift of sincere expression...blended with a tearful heart & humor...that's what we all need: heart & humor during the difficult steps of walking down memory lane...thoughts & prayers are with you all today, and always know I'll never forget the Tillery family & how your hearts bonded with Matthew and his humor when watching those old outdated, yet musical movies...hugs, tears, and bright hope for tomorrow for just imagine what it will be like to once again see Karen, your Dad, Muh, your Mom & Matthew loving you all just as he did while still here traveling his earthly journey! We can only imagine! Sonja

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  4. P.S. I so agree with you about the Muslim nurse...what a special gift!

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