After two weeks in the hospital, my 87-year-old grandmother died on Tuesday evening, August 1st, 2006.
Before, during, and after the event I saw God’s provision, like a beautiful string of pearls, poured into my hand. It conformed to my shape– my unique needs– and continues to glow with beauty and value.
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God knows what we need before we ask for it, and sometimes provides before we know to ask.
It is no small thing to say that *God is Faithful.*
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Since January (when we’d been forced into a 1-car lifestyle) I’d been stopping in to visit with Grandma early every week, and found myself in a wonderfully comfortable “girlfriend” relationship.
We talked about hopes and goals, kids and husbands (even though hers had died two years before).
Our relationship was almost defined by its one-on-oneness.
When we knew that Grandma was dying (faster than the rest of us), and everyone began to arrive, I fought off my feelings of possessiveness, thankful they’d all made it before she was gone.
I wanted very much to have more time alone with her, but knew it would be selfish to ask.
When I arrived on Tuesday morning the rest of the family was down the hall (Mom was re-explaining the progression of Grandma’s illness) and there were a couple of ladies from church in Grandma’s hospital room.
They would sing occasionally, but Grandma was no longer responsive.
I opened my guitar book on Grandma’s bed and played. I don’t know if she heard the quiet music, but I leaned over after I finished and said right in her ear, “You just heard my first recital, Grandma.”
She and Grandpa always worked to be at every game or concert we grandkids were in (even when Grandpa’s hearing totally abandoned him).
The being there was very important to them.
When I finished my music the other women left.
I was alone with Grandma again; something I never guessed could happen.
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I believe now that the design of the hand at rest is just one more way God is gracious to us.
Sitting on the edge of Grandma’s hospital bed, I held her hand, and she was able to hold mine. Not because she tried– she couldn’t try anymore– but because a hand at rest closes into a shape that fits another hand.
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I sang a song. I cried while I sang.
I felt the heaviness and the preciousness of the time.
We weren’t rushed. No one barged in on us. It was everything I didn’t know how to ask for.
When I finally just couldn’t sing anymore, I lay forward and rested my cheek on her boney shoulder.
And she pressed it into me.
She still knew me.
We had our last morning together.