- Death & Loss of Life
The Lord is her shepherd
It's been a long time already. If 15 years is a long time. That isn't much for most human lives. I started thinking about it when I read the hubs about Christianity. Last week it would have been her birthday if she was still alive.
When we were little and came over every Sunday, she would sit at the dinner table, her hands on the Bible. My o my, how we hated that, but we let her, because we knew it was important to her. God fearing she would read the passages.
In the old days her husband did that, but he couldn't anymore. He was sick, had lung emphysema for more than 17 years and the last year he had lung cancer. Needed a lot of oxygen. She took care of him, all these years. There wasn't much she could do but read to him, give him his medicine and comfort him. It was all she could do, because she had arthritis herself.
After he died, her world was empty for a while. Until she made friends again, started to work as a volunteer at the nursing home, started to go out on daytrips. She had promised him that, just because she stayed at home for him all those years. And she enjoyed it, every moment, for two years.
She started to look a little pale, got a little weaker. Just enough to notice. The family doctor came and he said he was worried too, so he decided to do a blood test. The outcome was even worse than we expected. They found out she had leukemia and that wasn't all. They found a tumor in her kidneys, and it had started to spread to other parts of her body as well.
I decided to go and live with her. And I did the last six months of her live. We slept in the big bed together and we could talk all night. We shared our secrets, got a cup of tea when we couldn't or wouldn't sleep, or grabbed some cookies out of the biscuit basket. We talked about her live with grandpa, how they met and fell in love. About her childhood and her children when they were born. We talked about grandpa's death and that the same was going to happen for her soon. We talked about fears and then she would take the Bible in her hand. Her comfort as well as her fear.
It got worse. Blood transfusions didn't help any more to let her feel better. The cancer slowly took the life out of her. She could not be alone anymore because she was forgetting things. And the worst thing for her was that she couldn't read anymore. When she tried often she didn't recognize the letters and it made her sad.
Her pale face, thin arms and legs, and her hair that got less. Her appearance wasn't the only thing that changed. Her mind started playing tricks on her. Not only because the cancer might spread further, but the medication she had to take did that to her too. Maybe that was a good thing for her, because she didn't see the changes, she didn't notice what the cancer was doing with her. But the family saw her, and it was hard for them, for me to see how she started to fade.
We had our share of funny and happy moments too at that time. She suddenly sat straight up in her bed and yelled;" BINGO!" and thought she won the first prize. Or she got mad because everyone in the hall got some coffee, accept for her. And when we offered her some, she would tell us that she didn't like coffee at all and thanked us with a big sneer on her face. Or at times when she took out her false teeth and stick out her tongue while she laughed her ass off.
And we had our endearing moments too when she saw her father and she thought that she was walking her own little doggie which she had when she was a little girl. On moments she was rocking her baby who was born. Her face was shining of joy and happiness.
Sad moments when she realized she was still on this earth, cursing, asking why He didn't get her yet. Tears on her face when she told she wanted to be with grandpa and felt the pain in her body. But when we started to read psalm 23, she calmed down and closed her eyes. Until the moment came that she did not open them anymore.
I'm glad to have known this woman. I'm glad I had the chance to get to know her even better. I saw the woman without fears, who tried to make something out of life after all those years she took care of others. R.I.P Grandma.