All Fear Was Gone
by Bob West

I didn't think that I would see Mother again. I knew she was getting sicker and sicker, and likely would not live much longer. Sylvia was still recovering from four months in the hospital and three of those in ICU. I couldn't leave her, and I didn't think she would be well enough to travel for us to be there in time.

On Tuesday, November 30, we received an e-mail from my brother Gaylon telling just how sick Mother had become. Sylvia read it before I did, and insisted that she was able to travel. So I called our daughter Robynne and asked her if she would arrange airline tickets for our travel the next day. She did, and early Wednesday morning (our 51st anniversary, and Mother and Dad's 74th) our daughter Suzanne took us to the Asheville airport. Our son David picked us up at Orlando International and dropped us off at Gaylon's home in Auburndale. We went to the hospital that afternoon.

Mother was surprised and delighted, but very sick and very weak. Her physical body was worn out. It was difficult to understand some of what she said, but I understood when she said that she wasn't worth anything anymore. I asked her if she wanted to go be with Jesus. She said, "Might as well."

I told her that if Jesus was ready to take her and she was ready to go, then it was okay with all of us. We all loved her very much and would miss her, but we would all see her again, because we were going to be with Jesus too, when He called us.

My sister Linda told me later that Mother seemed to be saying goodbye the day before we arrived.

That night Mother told Gaylon's wife Mary Lou, to get her suitcase down from the closet. She told her that Bob and Sylvia had come and she needed to cook dinner for them. When they told me about it, it was as if the Lord put a spotlight on the word "suitcase" as His way of saying, "Your mother is going on a trip with Me."

Mother used to be afraid to die. She didn't think she was worthy. She hadn't done enough. Wasn't good enough. I told her at those times that she was right. She wasn't good enough. None of us are good enough. That's why Jesus came and died for our sins, so that we could have a way.

But this time she had peace. She wasn't afraid. She was ready.

Mother's dad died when she was 3 years old. She said that in recent years she had dreams of her dad coming to get her, riding on a white horse, but he never completely got there. I think that the Lord was using the familiar image of her earthly father to represent Himself and give her hope. He would come to get her when it was time.

And it was time early Saturday morning, December 4th, 2004. My sister Janie was by her side, just as she had been four years earlier when Dad passed from this life. Now Mother is with Jesus, Dad, her mother and father, her sisters, Aunt Doll, and others whom she loved so dearly and still missed.

Each time Mother and I talked since Dad died, she would tell me how lonely she was.
Well -- she's not lonely anymore!

Ethel Lee West
September 26, 1913 -- December 4, 2004

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