“Watch one hour with me. Stay just a way by my side. When my alleluia days streak into blues and grays, be my guide. Stay a while. Watch with me.” © Joe Wise
Those words are part of the lyrics of a hymn based on the gospels, on Jesus’s last night before he was arrested, praying in the garden that this terrible thing might pass him by, and asking his friends to watch with him.
Today is Good Friday, and tonight will mark the thirty-first year since my mother’s passing in the small hours of the night. I was blessed to be with her when she died, and I was especially blessed to have spent quiet hours with her earlier that day. Everyone else was busy elsewhere, and she was sleeping. I didn’t want her to wake alone, so I pulled a chair up and kept my own vigil at her bedside. If you’ve read my books, you’ll probably recognize that scene in one of them.
No matter who you are or what faith you may practice, it isn’t hard to recognize that plea to not be left alone to face something like death. I know we all make that transition alone, but we don’t have to be alone on the path.
I can’t listen to that hymn now or play it on my guitar without thinking of my mom, without remembering that day and those hours we spent together, not speaking much, but saying all that needed to be said.
I wish you all – whether you’re celebrating Easter or Passover or just spring and lots of candy – the peace of family and friends.