A Gift for My Dying Mother – Matthew 6:19-21

A few days before she died, with the room full of talkative family members, Mom cracked a line that made my jaw drop. Befuddled, I didn’t know whether to laugh at her joke or cry. The conversation was about buying more Christmas gifts, but her remark silenced everyone.

At that point Mom only wanted to lie still and observe her family. No more therapies, no more interventions or procedures, fewer pills to swallow. She’d asked for a place of rest and peace, and that’s what we provided for her. The hospice center had quiet halls, gentle caregivers, beautiful scenery, and space for her loved ones around her bed.

As talk of Christmas preparations continued I watched my mother’s face. Too tired to smile, but not to engage, she said

“Well, you don’t have to get me anything.”

It could have been an incredibly sad moment, realizing that my precious mother was lying there in a hospital gown she didn’t own. The bed wasn’t hers either. Her photo albums, china, jewelry, mementos from her travels. Her iPad, her comfortable chair, her favorite foods at home in the refrigerator. She’d never enjoy them again. They were nothing to her now.

Yet, in Mom’s gentle yet powerful way, she’d spoken volumes. She didn’t want any gift except our love. She lay there content in the middle of her family until she followed Jesus out of our sight.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

1 John 4:7 ESV

The day after Mom passed I went into my bedroom and pulled my cell phone charger out of the wall. She didn’t need me to be accessible in the night any more. Mom didn’t need anything from me, and never would again. She had instead given me the most valuable gift, a legacy of love to share with the world.

Beloved, let’s love one another.

An unedited version was shared at the memorial service for my mother, Delores Sheldon, on January 4, 2020.


Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21 ESV

In Mom’s passing from this life she was surrounded by love, her most cherished treasure. Upon entering eternal rest it is with her still.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis


5 thoughts on “A Gift for My Dying Mother – Matthew 6:19-21

  1. Kathy,
    I am so sorry for your family’s tremendous loss! I know your family is comforted by God’s amazing grace at this time. Your mother was an amazing woman and I am glad to have known her. Take good care of each other.
    Your friend,
    Michelle(Julian) Ely

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