(This post was originally written on July 9, 2009.)
Grandma is in the hospital, on the cusp of making her big journey home to Jesus. My heart is breaking…
I will never forget how special it was when I was a little girl and Grandma would visit…. (Sometimes we would just pretend that she was coming and get our bedrooms all shiny.) I remember watching out the window, waiting for her car to pull up….running outside to jump into her arms. I remember her big purse, always filled with something special for my brothers, sister and me. I remember the way she smelled, all sweet and clean. I remember how her hands felt in mine, soft and squishy. I remember her full lips, kissing my cheek, always covered in a bit too much red lipstick. I remember her snuggling me, rocking me to sleep, even when I barely fit in her lap. I remember her patience, listening to my never ending stories. I remember her jewelry, always fancy.
I remember last summer…visiting Grandma in the nursing home. Helping her to make her hair pretty with a curling iron and a ribbon. I remember applying her face cream, then her make-up….topping it all off with a bit too much red lipstick. I remember her smiling, so proud of how she looked. I remember talking about how she loved to dance, and how she missed dancing now that she was confined to a wheelchair. I remember holding her hand, helping her eat, washing her face… I remember the moment I had to say good-bye, with tears streaming down my cheeks…. promising to see her again. I remember Grandma crying…waving as I walked away.
Now, as Grandma is lying in a hospital bed, dying, I cannot keep my promise. I am, instead, sitting on my couch…too pregnant to travel. Why didn’t I go see her in the Spring? Now I will have to wait until eternity to see her… to smell her sweet, clean smell…. to touch her soft and squishy hands. I can’t put red lipstick on her lips to make her feel more ready to meet Jesus. I can’t pick out special jewelry for her to wear before her journey. I can only ask others to tell Grandma how much I love her and to kiss her for me. I have to hope that I said everything she needed to hear in our short telephone call three days ago…where I could only hear the hum of her oxygen machine and an occasional moan from her throat. I can only sit at home, praying that God will take her gently home….and that Grandpa Bill will be on the other side to greet her. I can pray that there is a make-up bag waiting for her, along with some Aqua Net hairspray and a jewelry box. I can pray that she will feel the comfort of Jesus as she makes this final trip, from here to eternity.
Please, God, hold Grandma in your hands. Please guide her gently to heaven. Please comfort us, as we say good-bye. Please be with us all, Lord.
In Him, Beckie