Eventually I'll get back to writing about our trip, but we've been tied up with Gramma this week. We spent the night with her last night, and another sister-in-law will be there all this week. Then after that we'll have to figure out who can stay for the next go-round.
She doesn't sleep much, and rambles on and on about things from 20 or more years ago. She doesn't remember me. She said, "I love you!" "I don't know who you are, but I love you anyway!" She called for my father-in-law, gone for twenty years, and today she told me she was fishing and caught a whole bunch of fish. Later she told my sister-in-law that we had to do something with the fish in the garage so they wouldn't spoil. A friend who has done a lot of care alongside Hospice told me this is all very typical. It's kind of like she's rewinding her life.
She loves it when I read Scripture to her. Her favorite verse is John 3:16-"For God so loved the world that He gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." She's got one foot in heaven and is waiting to get the rest of herself there soon. One time during the night, I was sitting by her bed and she asked me who those people were behind me. Dreams? Hallucinations? Angels, waiting for the signal to take her home?
This really is a privilege to sit with her while she makes the transition. Just think, she gets to see Heaven soon!
Henry van Dyk, an inspirational poet from the late 1800's wrote this. This is what it feels like watching her make the journey:
A Parable of Immortality
by Henry van Dyke
I am standing by the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch
until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, 'There she goes!'
Gone where? Gone from my sight - that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the places of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
'There she goes!',
there are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout:
'Here she comes!'