Back in April, I wrote about my grandmother. She suffered a massive heart attack at that time and we didn’t think she was going to survive. One machine was helping her breathe, another was helping her heart to pump, and there were seven other machines pumping medication into her system to keep her alive. She was scared. So was I. Everything said, “No. Her time is up,” but God. My grandmother fought. When we wanted to pray for her recovery, she made us gather around the hospital bed, join hands and through the oxygen mask SHE prayed for US.
She left the hospital several days later. There was light in her eyes and she was determined to get up and walk, although the doctors wanted her to sit or lay down. She looked forward to going back to her apartment and continuing the work that God had for her. Following her stay in the hospital, she was sent to rehab. We went to see her almost every day. During one visit, she expressed regret for not having anything put aside for her grandchildren. I thought it was a strange statement. I never expected her to leave behind money or other tangibles for us. I figured she had given us what she wanted us to have already.
My grandmother passed away on July 25th as we were getting dressed to visit her that morning. During the time she was in hospice, the regret she expressed rolled over and over in my mind. How could she not know? Surely this Godly woman knew there was no value in the tangibles. There are memories that are far more valuable than any THING she could have ever given me! She taught me my first two scriptures: Psalm 119:11 and John 3:16. What could be more valuable than God’s word? In her living and in her passing she taught me that God is in the details and everything does in fact work out well for those who love Him. Her passing would have only been a devastating loss if I learned nothing from her life.
My grandmother taught me an amazing lesson during her final days. I will carry it with me for the rest of my life. She gave me an understanding of the importance of NOW. If you love someone, say it now. If you need to make amends with someone, do it now. I never considered how afraid we seem to be of the present until death walks into the picture. Coming face to face with death, or even watching someone in transition is a real eye opener. If you are paying attention, you will understand that the objects, emotions and titles we cherish are quite insignificant. But the things that we talk about after a loved one passes – good character, generosity, and kindness are far more important. As my grandmother is laid to rest this weekend, I hope those who gather to say their final good-byes discover this gift. I will be sure to pass this lesson on to my daughter.