Tell about a time when you experienced patience or a fruitful waiting time in your life. Was someone patient with you or did you offer a patience that surprised you? What does that experience of patience tell you about the character of God
My mother and I were very close. Of course that’s not an unusual sentence, nor is it an unusual sentiment, but I don’t think that I’ve ever written those words before.
 
When I was born, my mother was 24. Like many 1950s women she gave up her growing business and her entrepreneurial goal of having a successful ballet studio to support her husband and be at home with her infant son. A few months before I was born my father was transferred from Calgary to Vancouver. She remained in Calgary living with her parents and six weeks following my birth we moved to Vancouver to join him.
 
Her life was now very different. My father was busy with his new job. My mother’s world got a lot smaller, toddler-sized in fact because that was me. For the first four years of my life we were together all the time; she confided in me, joked with me and shared her thoughts with me. My mother and I were very close.
 
Fifty-six years later my mother has cancer. A large stage four tumour was removed from her uterus eighteen months earlier, and progressively the renegade cells had infiltrated her entire system. She had weeks to live. She entered a hospice. For many years we had lived 800 kilometres apart and I was unable to be with her until two days after she’d arrived in care. She was very angry with me for making her wait.
 
And she was right to be angry. She’d been waiting, waiting for the arrival of her child, while waiting for the end of her life. After a few hours the anger disappeared; we were together again. My mother and I were very close.
 
I had been in denial about my mother’s condition and as often happens, denial had transformed into anger. But as I spent the next four days in that hospice room with her night and day, talking to her, immersed in her presence, listening to the changes in her breathing as the dosages of morphine were increased, I was surprised for this was not a chore. I was glad to be there.
 
I had never been more aware of God’s patient, loving presence as my mother and I waited, together.
 
I had never been more at peace.  
 
My mother and I remain very close. 
Randy is the Communications Officer of the diocese of New Westminster.