Today Was THAT Day Teresa Barlow, 87, Graduated

Well you never expect it to come. You know it will but you don’t know when. Will it feel different? When the day dawns on THAT day – will you know it? How do you prepare yourself? How do you make yourself ready for THAT day?

It’s 10:08PM right now. My Mom died this morning at 11AM. So it hasn’t been a full 12 hours yet. But today was THAT day.

I just turned 53 a few weeks ago. We came to have dinner with my Mom the day after Mother’s Day. Just two weeks ago. What a great time. Well, if you knew her, you’d know what I mean. With her you were always welcome, accepted and respected. She could talk to anybody and ask you the best questions. She was easy to talk to. Loving and accepting. She didn’t need to do all the talking, she loved to listen, that’s what made her a great conversationalist. So out to dinner at her favorite place. She had the stuffed pepper. I hate stuffed peppers. But she enjoyed hers. Nancy & I sat on either side of her at the booth.

We loved Teresa.

Later when we took her home she told us straight: “I’m ready to go!” We knew what she meant and we had heard some similar conversations before but she looked in good health. She was up walking around seemed to be doing fine. But when we said our goodbyes I had that feeling; that feeling you want to reject as insignificant or not valid; I had that feeling that this was it, this was my last time to see her. God was warning me. I didn’t want to acknowledge it. I wanted that impression to be wrong.

But we got the text last week: she broke her hip. Surgery planned, should be no problem. Surgery successful but got to keep her asleep an extra day, had a blood clot. Got to thin the blood a bit, easier to do when she’s sleeping. Today, text: turn for the worse, infection they can’t control, kidneys shut down, only ventilator keeping her going. 11am email: She’s gone.

My first response: you may think crazy, but I was elated! She’s walking the streets of Gold. She gets a hug from Jesus! God answered her prayer. We found out later she had prayed right before surgery, “Lord, take me now.” God had answered her prayer.

She was faithful. She showed up, got to work and kept on going.

I remember one time my older brother, Michael had run away from home. He got to the end of the street, she confronted him: “You’re not getting out of this! We’re going through this together.”

She showed up, got to work and kept on going.

That’s why at 87 she has over 80 descendants, some impacting the world very powerfully.

She didn’t quit.

She finished her race.

I’m having quite a proud moment for her right now. I love my Mom. I’m very proud of her.

Well done Teresa! Well done.

Your loving Son, Joseph 10th of 14.

2 thoughts on “Today Was THAT Day Teresa Barlow, 87, Graduated

  1. Maxine says:

    joe. How beautifully said about your mom. I remember meeting her years ago. Lovely lady. How awesome she is to go home with the Lord!! Our one day place we will be also! Our time here is short so eternity with our Lord now that’s living. She will be missed but as you know you will see her when our arrival date comes to pass. Live her legacy. Continue to show her to this world through you and your family. God is faithful. Rejoice in the Lord Joe. She’d want you to do that!!! Blessings my friend. xoxo


  2. Kelly Brandt says:

    My only person-to-person encounter with you, Joe, was when our kids were on the same field trip to Starved Rock, and you heard me talk about my husband Randy’s exit to Heaven. It is bittersweet and difficult for those of us who remain. But we indeed rejoice for those who have “graduated”. I will be praying for you & yours these next days. Thank you for that day of your ministry of presence. And thank you for allowing us to sit with you in sympathy this day. You have written a beautiful tribute. I pray for your strength. Peace and comfort. Holy Spirit, come. Amen.


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