Final Exits

Listening to a minister’s sermon reminded me that my parents lived full lives,                          set moral examples and believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

       Sometimes, I am perplexed that many searching for the meaning of life do not want to hear and learn about faith in God. My supposition is people were burned, hurt and beat up by good-meaning Christians who got in the way of their faith and pushed them away. Fortunately, my mother and father lived wonderful examples of their Christian faith, though I waited to believe in God when Dad was 72 and Mom was 66.

As each of my parents came to the end of their lives, faith was inevitably their last endowment and legacy. On a car trip to a neighborhood near their home, my father asked me, “Will you take care of your mother when I’m gone?” My answer was an emphatic, “Yes, of course!”  Only in a nursing home for 33 hours, Dad died three weeks after asking his question. While my mother was a widow for 11 years and nine months, she served in the Nacogdoches community with her church, non-profit organizations and enjoyed the company of many friends.

Two months before one Christmas my mother’s health began to decline rapidly. I traveled three times to Nacogdoches in six weeks to transition Mom from her assisted living apartment…to the hospital…and finally into hospice at the same nursing home where my father died. The last time I saw Mom was 10 days before she died.

The hospice nurses were wonderful in their care and communicating to me about her declining health. After my last visit, the nurses called my cell phone daily so I could talk with Mom. Our calls were with me talking most and her saying a few things. In our last call, she was only able to listen while the nurse held her cell phone to Mom’s ear. In praying for words I said, “I know you’re worried about me and if you let go and let God you’ll be able to see everything I’m doing. I promise to finish my book and become a writer…I love you, Mom.” I began to weep and the nurse came back on the phone with, “Mr. Charles, it’s amazing what love can do – her blood pressure just went up!” Mom died the next afternoon.

Six years after my mother died, I listened to a minister’s sermon. He touched on the following three facts: #1 No one will avoid death; #2 Most of us give little thought to #1;   #3 All of us can experience life after death. Living with the hope of inheritance with God in eternity is believing in His Son, Jesus Christ and being transformed with the Holy Spirit dwelling in your heart.

We’ll all experience the final exit. My hope is for you to take God’s words in the Bible seriously, as your eternal life depends on it!

In reading I Peter 1:3-5, John 10:10, Acts 2 and Galatians 5:22-23, you can trust God!

 Questions to Ponder?                                                                                                                          1. Watching the last days of each of my parents’ lives was tough. I relied on God, my wife, and friends for wisdom, comfort, and peace. When I die, I will see my parents and sister in heaven. Have you experienced the final exits of family members and friends?                            What preparation and wisdom would you suggest to others? 

 2. Taking care of Mom, as my father asked me to do, was a challenge at times. I did a lot of praying! Many times I flanked her by asking friends, doctors, and counselors to tell Mom I asked them to do things. Instead of asking for Mom’s permission, I later told her and hoped for forgiveness if I stepped over the line. How do you care for someone who lives many miles away? Mom’s congestive heart failure prevented her from living in Colorado Springs, so every 2-3 months I drove the 1,000 miles to Nacogdoches to see her. 

3. What does eternal life or life after death mean to you? 

How long is eternity? 

4. Whether you believe or not in God and His Son, Jesus,                                                              wouldn’t it be worth a little of your time to explore the Christian faith? 

If you have a friend who professes the Christian faith, 

ask him or her why they believe and trust in God and Jesus Christ.

Final Exits is written by Charles H. Castle. The purpose of this non-fiction short story is to encourage, build, inspire, entertain and give you, the reader, opportunities to laugh, smile and questions to ponder. If you’re interested in giving the author feedback, send an email to You can purchase his book, Where are the Instructions,? at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, other retailers and

A future book, Who’s in Charge Here,?  with 44 short stories is to be published this year.






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