Pinnacle Presbyterian Church

Echoes Blog

My mother, Mildred Wilson Swicegood, died on August 15 after a brief illness. When it became clear to our family that mom could not recover from a serious infection, and at best spend the remainder of her days bedridden, we called in Sun Valley Hospice of the Valley to ease her last days. (May God bless all hospice organizations, for their staff are truly angels sent from on high.)

We held a memorial service at our home church in Winston-Salem, N.C. on October 3 and another memorial service here at Pinnacle on October 17.

I want to take this blog as an opportunity to thank all of you who have relayed expressions of condolence. As the old saying goes, a joy shared is a joy doubled, and a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved.

Many of you have traveled the road that my wife, Barbara, and I have traveled in caring for an aging parent. There are no handbooks or college courses to tell you how to do it. It is both a privilege and stressful. In our case, we had to make every decision for mom in her last month of life. We were torn between what we might do for ourselves and what mom would prefer for herself. I don’t know if we got it right, but we did our best.

I don’t feel sad about my mom’s passing. I’m truly relieved that her suffering is over and death is past and she has entered the joy of our Lord.

Nevertheless, I miss talking to her. Since October 2014 she and I had spent more time together than in the past 50 years. I asked her all sorts of things–what was it like for her growing up, how she met my dad, how she coped with me as a baby and my dad off to Europe to join the greatest generation to fight the Nazis.

My mom gave me the greatest gift I’ve ever received, the gift of life. I was one of the fortunate ones to have had a stable home, Christian parents, and a mother and father who looked after me and cared for me.

I am grateful.