"Absent from the body is to be present with the Lord," says Apostle Paul in Second Corinthians. I had heard this verse numerous times over my Christian life, but never really understood it, like I did the night of December 4th, 2008, when Mom died.
In the true concept of time, it really was not a long period, but for us, that night, every single moment felt like an eternity as we sat by Mom's side and watched her struggle for her every last breath. We could not wait for it to end, yet never wanted it to come. And as it did, it was so sudden, so abrupt, so real. She took her last breath as she inhaled and her lungs filled with air. We waited for the exhale, but there was none. Then, there her body lay, empty, with eyes and mouth open. There was no question about it. We all knew. She was no longer on this earth with us. At that very instance, that second, her soul was gone. She was immediatly in Heaven. She was with her Maker, her Savior. We had not been aware of time during her final breath, but knew it was around 2:30 am. It was not until later, that we would learn of the exact time.
The following day, my husband receieved an interesting phone call from a friend of the family. His father, also a believer, had just died 4 months earlier. Our families had know each other for years, and he was the last person we knew that had died and preceeded Mom to Heaven. Not knowing the time of Mom's death, he asked Patrick if it might have been around 2:22 am. A bit surprised and confused, Patrick answered, "Yes. Why?" He then told us that he was awoken from a deep sleep at exactly 2:22 in the morning, having a distinct feeling that his Dad had just welcomed our Mom into Heaven with a big hug. WOW! Goose bumps still cover my arms every time I tell that story! Mom was in Heaven! She was there, with friends, with family, with God, at precisely 2:22am. She had made it into the place she had longed to be. Mom had a new body and was in pain no more. She was "absent from this body and present with her Lord." What a glorious sight that must be!