Mom loved Dieter dog! When I was young she would never have allowed a dog in the house, let alone on her bed!
This photo was taken two days before her passing ... my Mom and Dad.
My mother, Virginia Latimer Savage passed away on her favorite holiday, Christmas, beside her childhood sweetheart and husband, Gilbert Owen. What a little fighter! She courageously fought her illness for almost 4 years, never complaining, never asking for special favors or demands, always a gracious patient, worrying about others instead of herself. She always told me that I was her favorite nurse. I loved taking care of my mother. The Lord blessed me with wonderful health to be able to lift and care for her in her last days on earth. And he blessed me with a situation in life to be able to be a full-time care giver to her. I am so blessed and loved by a kind Heavenly Father.
It's been a hard few days watching her struggle with her frail, worn-out body, and trying to stay alive. She didn't want to pass to the other side. She didn't want to leave Dad. I finally told Dad that he needed to tell her that it was alright to go. So Christmas Eve afternoon he went into her bedroom and told her that she could go if she wanted to and that he would be well taken care of. I think she needed to hear her sweetheart tell her that it was fine to go.
That evening my beautiful family gathered around her bedside, sang Christmas carols to her in her sedated medicated state. She was unable to communicate with us but we could definitely tell that she could hear us and knew what was going on. Even the little grandchildren sang solos to her. It was a beautiful and reverent evening, one that I will always cherish and remember. My daughter and I sang a duet together, one that Mom had never heard us perform. We sang magnificent. And then I related Grandma's favorite Christmas experience when she was a young girl living in Metropolis, Nevada. She had just told that story about a week prior to a young Primary class who came to carol to her. It was amazing because that day she was unable to talk and when the children arrived and sang to her she became alert and communicated with them. She told how they were unable to find a Christmas tree that year and they were sad because it was Christmas Eve and they had no tree to decorate. Suddenly they heard a brushing sound against the door. Her Dad opened the door and there to their amazement was a huge sagebrush leaning against their door. Perfect ... it's a gift from heaven ... our Christmas tree. Her Dad built a stand for the sagebrush and they decorated it with gold and silver ornaments. It was beautiful. They went to bed and waited for Santa to arrive. The next morning the 'tree' was scraggly and bedraggled and made the house smell something terrible so they had to take off the ornaments and throw the tree away!
After each family member kissed and loved my mother, three of my daughters stayed behind to help care for her body. She was developing some bad bed sores and it was my evening tradition to rub lotion on her feet. So my girls tenderly helped rub olive oil on her heels, feet, legs, and arms. They even lovingly rubbed her head and spoke tender words to her. In the background there was the most beautiful music playing, Silent Night, sung by the Tabernacle Choir. It was such a reverent and sacred setting, one that I shall never forget. We prepared her for the evening, made sure that she was resting peacefully and then told her good night and that we would see her in the morning.
Christmas morning I awoke early and thought about her, wondering if I should run over and check on her, but I didn't want to wake Dad, so I waited until 7:00 a.m. As I walked out my back door, my father was coming out his back door. I asked him how Mom was and he said that she had gone. I went into her bedroom and it was such a blessed sight to see how peaceful and relaxed she was. I felt relief and happiness and joy as I kissed her little face and loved her. She was still warm to the touch so I knew that her spirit hadn't been apart from her body long. There was such a reverent feeling in the room and I knew that Mom was there watching and listening to me. I spoke to her and told her how happy I was for her. I took out the canula from her nose and had Dad turn off her oxygen machine. It was a joyous moment to take off the oxygen and throw the hose away. It had been a tether to her for almost 4 years. I said to her, "Oh Mom, look ... you don't have to wear this ole thing anymore. How wonderful!"
We called family members to let them know of her passing and made arrangements for the mortuary to come and pick up her little 70 plus pound body. Our Bishop arrived and we all surrounded Mom's little body and spoke of the reverent experience that we were having. After her body was taken to the mortuary the Bishop gave my father a beautiful blessing of peace and comfort.
What a joyous day to pass to the other side. The day that we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, we are now celebrating the birth of my mother's new life on the other side. What a joyous reunion with her parents and sister. I know that she is extremely happy and she's probably wondering why she didn't want to go sooner. I'm sure she's visiting many of her loved ones here on earth. I feel her presence as well as the surrounding comfort of the Holy Ghost. I know that he's real. I know that he's the comforter. I feel that peace. I feel that love. And I feel the love of my Saviour who answered my prayers to take my mother home.
God be with you til we meet again. Thank you for your love, concern, and prayers in my behalf.