As some of you know, my family found out just a few short weeks ago that my paternal grandmother is terminally ill. She doesn’t have months to live, she has weeks, and perhaps even days. Mom Putt, as we affectionately call her, and I have always had a special relationship. Of my two grandmothers, she’s the one to whom I closest (that doesn’t mean my other grandmother is any less important), and I’m going to miss her when she’s gone. Oftentimes when going to visit my parents, I stop by Mom Putt’s house for hours just to talk…it is definitely not unheard of for me to talk to Mom Putt until after midnight. She’s shared stories from growing up with me, she’s told me about how she knows God is real for herself, we’ve talked about challenges I’m facing, we’ve argued, we’ve disagreed, but through it all we’ve loved one another unconditionally. Mom Putt has also always been very up front and honest with me about her health status. There have been many times when she would state, “Dawn, I’m far sicker than they know. Despite how I look, I’m not well.” I never thought much about this statement, but I think she knew every detail of what we’re now finding out all along. My grandmother has had more than her share of health issues over the years and she’s always overcome…she knows all too well that cancer sucks and can rob one of his or her life if you let it! My grandmother is a fighter…she has beaten death in its face time and time again, so the thought of her not kicking whatever had her down never crossed my mind. But that all changed when we found out that cancer was back and this time, without a miracle, it wasn’t going away!
At first I was sad, but then I became fine with it. My grandmother is well in her eighties, and biblically speaking, she’s outlived God’s promise…she’s in the gift years of her life! Those who know me best know I don’t do death. I don’t visit terminally ill individuals, I don’t attend funerals, and I don’t view bodies at those funerals that I must attend. I don’t like the thought of death, so I avoid it. When I was a senior in high school, my favorite aunt passed away and I was devastated…I would not visit her because I only wanted to remember the way things were before she got sick. I couldn’t understand why God let her die. It was all too much for me, but this time around, things are drastically different. This time, despite facing the sadness of death, I’ve found great peace in it.
Well, in these sad times, I’ve been able to visit my grandmother every week…sit by her bedside, talk and laugh with her, serve her, and just show her love. I’ve been able to get family recipes from her (not sure all of the recipes are exactly right, but I’ve got them) and make her smile in what man says are her last days. Yes, I’ve shed some tears in my alone time, but in my grandmother’s presence, I’ve been able to just have fun being her granddaughter. No, she can’t go out for a car ride at the moment, she’s not up and moving around, and she’s not talking a whole lot, but she’s still got her spirit. She hasn’t lost life, and more than that, she’s found peace with it all. She told me that she’s asked the Lord to right her wrongs, she’s asked God to help her have a forgiving spirit, and I honestly believe that whenever the Lord calls her home, she’s ready!
It has no doubt been a tough time, but even in the valley of the shadow of death, God is still proving Himself to be faithful, comforting, and loving!
Until next time…may you find His peace!