Every Maundy Thursday I sit vigil with my mom, as we sit vigil with Jesus. We sit, we remain, we watch, we pray as Jesus prepares himself for death. I do the same, did the same, as my mom's body shut down and we watched for the end.
Every year my church remembers Jesus' last supper and his preparation for death by reading the story from John 13 - the story of Jesus sharing a last meal with his disciples, of Jesus washing his followers feet, of Jesus preparing them and calling them to love one another as he has loved them.
Jesus' choice to wash his followers feet was a blessing. It was preparation, doing for them what he wanted them to do for others. He told them, "this is how you do it. This is how you love - you do what I have done." And he sealed that call with the water and the oil, and the tenderness of his hands as he dried their feet on his towel.
I didn't get a verbal blessing from my mom before she died. There were no words of, "this is how you live life, as my daughter." She didn't have the mental capacity after her stroke to put thoughts like that together, and she didn't have the physical ability to say it near the end.
But tonight I received that blessing, that blessing of a mother. I received that blessing as a mother and her daughter washed my hands, dried them with a towel, and prayed, "love others as Jesus loved us."
I received that mother's blessing tonight - from a mother who is not mine, four years after her death. I know it was a gift from my mom, a gift from Jesus, a gift I really needed this week.
Love others as Jesus first loved us. I'm going to try, Mom. I'm going to try.