Michael Robinson: I never wish for anybody to be in the positions that we’re in, right?
Jason Pablo: No.
Michael: We always want best for others being able to have that certainty that our mothers, our loved ones pass, and that there is a time that will come to see them again. This is just a timeout? Timeout, you know, it’s this short period of time that you know, we’re just waiting to see them again. And I relished in the fact that when my mother passed away, these things…
Michael Robinson: Whatever is happening in the world right now could do nothing, could change nothing about who she was, and what she stood for in regards to her faith.
Aliw Pablo: No matter where you are in the world, there was one thing we have all experienced together–change. This pandemic has forced us out of our comfort zones, and has pushed us into a new norm. And we simply surrendered and figured out a way to thrive. I’m your host, Aliw Pablo, and welcome to Making Changes, a new podcast from INC Media audio. It’s part two of our episode on loss and grieving.
In part one, we heard the story of Jason and Mike, who both cared for their mothers battling chronic illness who eventually passed on, they talked about the challenges of seeing their moms physically deteriorate, but how the change in their prayers is what helped them get through their ordeals.
On today’s episode, both talk about the values their moms have passed on to them, and how knowing that they will see their moms again, is what helps them fight through the pain of loss. Let’s listen in.
Michael Robinson: That’s one of the great things too Jay, you know, I think about the legacy that my mom leaves behind. And that’s left in us.
Jason: Oh absolutely!
Michael Robinson: I started thinking about all the things that she taught me. And of course the good values of just being a good person, you know, because we weren’t in the Church of Christ. I grew up in the Church, but she was converted. And I started thinking about all of these values that she taught me that were of course given through the Worship Services in the church and those few days before, and just holding her hand, and she’s taking her last breaths, which is, it’s still a horrible sequence of images in my brain but over time, it’s gotten better and better. But I really felt like because of the mercy that I was asking, it’s like, “God, please just give me mercy to accept your will, give me the strength.”
The fact that I was next to my mom when she was taking these last breaths. And she was actually able to attend Worship Service, even though just hearing, but it was a video streaming of our Executive Minister. And it was such a timely lesson, because it was about the fight until the end, and trusting God, that He is on the job, that he will do what is good for you. And once you accept that, no matter what happens, only good things will come to you. And I wanted to share this little piece with you, Jay, because I don’t know if you had an experience like this, but the nurse was with me. And as she left, I’m saying these words to my mom in her ears and , “Mom, we will see you again. We love you. Remember, you’re a member of the Church. You’re blessed. This isn’t the end.” And once she passed and took her last breath, the nurse said to me, “Well, at least she’s not in pain, and she’s in heaven now.” And that made something clicked so hard in my brain. Where I said to her, “Well, as a matter of fact, no.” And my brother, our I’m sorry, my co-worker, he came there, he was there already, Gary, and he recorded me on his phone talking to this nurse for 30 minutes about our faith.
Michael Robinson: Because that’s one of the things in perspective that I want to say “change,” but it became even more highlighted in my mind. The way that we see death is entirely different…
Michael Robinson: from the way the world sees death when someone dies. You know, yes, we celebrate life. We remember them. And the living works so hard to hold on to those who have left behind. And I’m not saying that’s wrong. You know, we concoct so many things in our minds, to help us…
Michael Robinson: …to cope, to console ourselves, to get by. But the fact of the matter is, is that being in the Church and seeing that path that God prepared for my mom and I—Not only to spend time with each other, but for me to truly repay her, and caring for her, even in her darkest hours–It taught me a great sense of humility. We know that our parents are not just gone, they’re resting, there’s something better that’s coming for them. And it just made me think, “Well, how bad do I want to see them again? How bad do I want to see them again?”
Jason: Well, you know, first of all, I do need to say that I think your mom, and my mom, they’re cut from the same cloth– just very, very hard, loving people. I mean, my mom, I always described her as that when she loved you, boy, she would go out of her way to take care of you. But again, the prayer was all about, “God, she’s in your hands, will love you no matter what, you know, I just don’t want to see your suffering anymore.” And a day later, that was when she was no longer awake, and the only thing keeping her alive were the machines and the medicines that she was on.
My mom was, you know, she and I were very close and to lose her it just made me realize that you have to really let your kids know how much they’re loved by you, as a father, by you as a parent, because that’s what my mom did. I miss her very much. But like you said, I’m inspired to be able to one day see her again, which makes me work even hard during the performances of my duties.
One, so that my kids can see that. But two, just so we could all get there. And you know, I do treat that differently as a member of the Church, because death is but a rest. And we’ll all get there, as long as we hold on, and I’ll be able to see my mom. And one day again, along with my younger sister and along with my nephew…
Michael Robinson: Yeah, I never wish for anybody to be in the positions that we’re in, right?
Michael: You know, we always want the best for others. And, whether you’re in the church or not, people face death, people get ill. People, unfortunately, become part of unfortunate circumstances, whether it’s calamities that happen. I mean, COVID that’s going around now, right?
Michael Robinson: You know, it’s a part of life. And we’re involved in that, too. But, you mentioned it, being able to have that certainty that our mothers, our loved ones passed, and that there is a time that will come to see them again, because that’s what our faith is. Our faith dictates that. And, it’s proven that this is just a, what do we call this? A timeout?
Michael Robinson: It’s timeout, it’s this short period of time, that we’re just waiting to see them again. And I relished in the fact that when my mother passed away, that these things here in the world– pain number one, this physical, emotional bodily pain, would never grip her again.
Michael Robinson: Whatever is happening in the world right now, could do nothing, could change nothing about who she was, and what she stood for in regards to her faith. Yeah, with the passing of my mom, I not only became stronger and my resolve because I said, I want to see my mother again. But I trusted God more.
Jason: Yeah, no, definitely. You know, once our moms kind of finish their course. You know, they became the lucky ones. Yeah, they had to suffer through it. They had some pain to endure. And they did. Probably, I mean, I know both you and I wish that we could have been in our mom’s places where we just kind of like take the pain away from them. But you know what, God did that for us. And you and I, as members of the Church of Christ, we definitely treat death differently. Because our parents–because our moms have died as members of the Church.
Michael Robinson: And just like your mom, she fought till the end. I remember bringing my mom to the House of Worship. Every time that we go to the Worship Service. I go in the room, get her clothes, put her clothes on. I put her foot drop brace on, tie her shoes, I will get her wheelchair ready with a cushion and a pillow that she specifically wanted. Because she kept saying, I want this pillow and help her out. I put the wheelchair in the back of the van, and then repeat the whole process all over again. And Jay I know, I’m waiting for you to tell me with your mom how that all was. I’m sure you had experiences.
Jason: Everything you said was dead on but because my mom, because of her condition it was a show. I mean, it was us getting ready for a show, you know, you had to give her a bath. You had to get her ready.
Michael Robinson: Yes.
Jason: Lay out her clothes. But the thing was, and this is how I knew my mom was still in there, my mom still cared about worshiping and how she worshiped because we would lay her clothes out. And you could even with her trach he’d be like, she’d be telling us, “No, not that.”
Michael Robinson: Not that color.
Jason: And then like my sisters would grab earrings. And she, of course she’d go up. What are you doing? These are not the earrings that I want. I want another. So you know, like you said it was just a big show to get your mom, wheelchair up into the car. Get into church, the brethren would you know, the brothers and sisters at church would come and kind of greet her. And, you know, my mom is really happy to see them. She’s exhausted. But you know, she’s still trying to say “hi.” But you know, I just remember that getting the wrong clothes and having the wrong earrings. My mom would not want to get ready unless it was right. Because, again, she was going to worship service and she wanted to worship God in the way that she wanted. She wanted to look right for Him.
Michael Robinson: Even I imagine that that time Jay, like they were on that hill. And they’re making all this effort. And I would even say like and, that’s one thing that I learned from that experience was that because our mothers are like, they don’t I’m not saying they didn’t care, but they’re like, “Hey, I gotta worship.” And imagine that you, the caretaker, are going to stop your mother from worshiping God is almost saying, “God, I don’t think this servant of yours should worship” like that.
Jason: Exactly, bro.
Michael Robinson: I mean, “Wait, am I really gonna do that? Because I started realizing my responsibility as a son. Like this was now the added bonus to my relationship with my mom. I was now responsible for her to worship God. And so you know, bringing her to Worship Service, even though that was the only time she went out of the house!
Jason: Exactly, bro.
Michael Robinson: Like this the only time and she would not get in a wheelchair for anything. You know, if it was the day before, she’s like, I’m not doing anything, I need to rest this whole day for the worship service. But they knew, even to that point, they were so ill-stricken. And we talked about this before, you know, we all could have made excuses, and would have had the right to, but they still fought. If they’re fighting and they have such little that they’re able to do yet they’re still fighting? Why not more us? Yeah, that’s why I’m just grateful.
I’m thankful for the faith that we have. The faith that we live by in the Church Of Christ. And honestly, Jay, I’m thankful to you as well, having this outlet to speak about this, because, for me, and you’ve been there, losing a parent, and it’s still kind of fresh, but just having someone else to be able to talk to about it, give their perspective. And, you know, it all boils down to, we really do think differently, from what the world may think about it, and because of these experiences, it changed us for sure. It changed us, but it changed us for the better. And it changed us for the betterment of serving God. Thank you so much, Bro, I really appreciate your time.
Jason: Oh, no. I enjoyed it.
Michael Robinson: I forgot to ask you, oh my gosh, this just popped in my head too you know, like your advice that you would give, for others because our situations were different still but, what would you say to others and such?
Jason: It’s just that, the best place to be is in God’s hands and in living under God’s will. We may not understand why certain things happen. The good and definitely the bad but at the end of the day God knows exactly what He’s doing. And feel good about being under God’s will because you are always taken care of. God always knows what we need. Whether it’s you know, whether it’s a moment of sadness, like losing a mom, losing a parent. It teaches us something about ourselves, which makes us better as Christians. But God’s always doing that for us. Everything that happens in life, God’s will is at work. That would be my advice to everybody.
Michael Robinson: And I’m going to take that personally, because I love that line you just said, everyone who’s listening, “Feel good about being in God’s will.” That is the phrase of the day. Only feel good because nothing else will go wrong. And I can’t thank you enough. Jay really can’t.
Jason: Oh, thanks man. I appreciate it, bro.
Aliw: Gosh, I felt like I wanted you guys to talk forever. Like you guys, one minute you’re making me laugh. And the next minute you’re making me cry. That’s how this listening to two big burly guys talk about their moms. It’s like you guys are like these big teddy bears. But you know, what’s been so great is just listening. You know, listening to you both and and your mom’s we’re so blessed, to really have been loved by sons like you and having been loved and cared for by you guys. And, I know I got to meet your mom once Mike in Florida.
Michael Robinson: Yeah.
Aliw: And, and I know, and you know this, I would text you this all the time that how blessed your mom was to have you. As you know, you are going through all those difficult times taking care of her because like Jason said, it was just you and you and I always told you, “You got to take care of yourself, because you had two little kids and then your wife.”
And, I also really got to see how much my mother-in-law really loved Jason, and up till the time she passed away. He’s right, she was always concerned about us, even though she was the one that was in pain and suffering. But, it’s rare to have to hear two guys talk about their feelings, and talk about their love.
Jason: We’re big and burly. So you know, we’re okay about it.
Michael Robinson: Teddy Bear.
Aliw: It’s just rare. But you guys really, you know, thank you for being so vulnerable and letting your heart out there. But, grief is not something easy to talk about to begin with, but to have two guys talk about grief is like a whole nother level. But what do you think, Mike, what do you think your biggest takeaway from Jason was? In our conversation today?
Michael Robinson: Well, I think one of the things you just said, being vulnerable, I think the premise of the things we talked about, didn’t make me feel vulnerable, or to think that I was going to be in a vulnerable place. Because it’s honest, it’s real. And I mentioned, even earlier, the one thing that just popped in my head with Jay was saying is that feel good, that you’re in God’s will.
And hearing his story about knowing that sometimes we want to know what God’s will is and, and we believe it’s what’s best for us. And even to the point and I connected with Jay so much when he said, “I don’t want to make that decision.” And when we trust in God to know that He’s going to provide, even if we had to make the decision or not, He’ll give us that strength to do it.
But I’m just even speaking to Jay, with someone else, you know, it’s always good to speak to someone else who’s experienced something like you did. I mean, our circumstances are different in certain places. But, we’ve all experienced the same loss. And I’m very thankful for listening to Jay’s story, too. I’m happy to hear that there’s another guy that really loves his mom as much as I to what extent we would go to, because I used to think like, “Am I loving my mom too much because you have a family too.” But just hearing Jay–it reassured me even more that what we did was right. And it wasn’t because we just loved our mom. But, we know what’s good to God. And we know what His will is, and when we apply ourselves to it and make ourselves part of it, versus thinking what we think is best. Not only do we have good things, but we’re more calm, we’re at peace. And that was my whole endgame here.
In regards to my mother passing and I’m sure with Jason to know that we had peace and everything that we did. And having this conversation gives me more peace about it, knowing that moving forward that even though I do miss her, yes, you know, I have a fellow brother who also firmly believes we’ll see our mothers again. And it’s not just our mothers who will see each other’s mothers again and each other.
But yes, feeling good about being in God’s will–That’s the biggest thing that I love what Jay just said, because it really brings me peace about everything that has happened, and to never be upset with God, but to be even just more thankful. And, to know that I passed this part of the trial in my life and when other ones come, we know we can feel good, because God’s will, it’s just being done for all of us.
Aliw: And what about you, Jason, what was your biggest takeaway from Mike?
Jason: My biggest takeaway from Mike was that, we’re always gonna question how, if we’ve grieved enough or during the time, have we done enough? The answer to all of that, that I’ve learned from Mike is that God has always allowed us to do exactly what we needed to do for our parents or for our loved ones, for that matter. You know, and even after death, our parents are going to live through us because we love our mothers so much, we’re always gonna wonder if we’ve done enough for them. We’ve grieved enough for them. Now that they’re no longer here. But I want to say that we only question that because we love them so much.
Aliw Pablo: Thanks again, Jason, and Mike for taking the time to share your stories and life lessons. And if you found value in what you heard today, please share it with a friend who is dealing with grief during this time. And we’d greatly appreciate it if you can leave a review on whatever platform you’re listening from.
Be sure to subscribe to Making Changes to stay up to date with new episodes. For more inspiring content or to learn more about the Iglesia Ni Cristo or Church Of Christ, log on to incmedia.org or download the INC media app. Thanks for listening and may your change uplift you.
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