On Saturday, while I was away from the house, I got a phone call from my mom.
When I listened to her message, though she revealed nothing, other than to call her back, I immediately sensed there was something wrong.
I braced myself for bad news about my grandmother, who's been sick for a while now, and called her back.
In my heart I have known that she doesn't have long left in this world. She is 95. She has had a good life, a long one, and I know she is ready to die. She wants to.
My mom told me that when they were going to do a minor procedure for her, they found a tumor in her abdomen, near her esophagus, preventing her from swallowing much of anything.
The reason Mom called me when she did is because she found out from my uncle, Steve (her brother) that the tumor was malignant. The doctor said that she had 3 weeks with IV fluids, one week without.
Steve is working out the details with facilities and coordinators and doing all the research to get her into a hospice facility. She is still in the hospital right now.
I went to Madison to see her yesterday. I met Mom there. I got to see Steve and Connie, as they were leaving and I was walking into the building.
Did I mention that I hate hospitals?
And I married a nurse.
I got to her room and Mom was already there with her. I got to spend some time with the two of them.... probably just shy of 2 hours.
I would say that I had a chance to talk with her, but I didn't really. She did most of the talking and steered the conversation. Mom and I were along for the ride.
It was really hard seeing her in the hospital, because this time, more than any other time recently, I could see that she was different from my Gram that I remember and love. She was more relaxed and comfortable than I have seen her in a while, so that was good. But her personality seemed different to me some.
I don't know how to describe it. I can't put it into words.
My heart is that I want to see her come to Jesus. I want to know that she is a believer, if that is the case. I may never know that, but I got the sense that she isn't and it just breaks my heart. I want to see her in heaven again. I want her to spend eternity with Jesus, in heaven.
My heart is breaking now because, though she isn't clinging to this life, and she says that she wants to go on to something "new" or "different," as she put it, there was an emptiness in those words.
I don't think my family would agree with me, because she was so involved with church all her life. One way or another she was a church choir director, or she did something with church as long as Mom could remember, during her growing up years.
I think my family would be upset if they knew that I am not sure that Gram has Jesus living in her heart, or that I had doubts about whether she will be going to heaven when she dies.
I am taking a risk of their reading this, and getting upset with me, just by posting it, but at the same time....
...well, this blog has been a safe place to pour out my heart before. I am going to risk it again here, and pray that God will bring understanding and unity in Him in all my family.
I am afraid that if they read this, I will sound very judgmental and fundamental to my family.
I love them so very much. I am not judging them, or Gram. I just want them to know, really know, where they are going to be when they die.
Maybe I am fundamental.... in that I believe that God gives everyone a will, and the chance to choose whether they want life with God or life without Him. I believe that God loves everyone of us and wants us all to be with Him, otherwise He wouldn't have sent Jesus to die on the cross to make the way open for us to be with Him.
All we have to do is accept, receive, the sacrifice Jesus made, seek forgiveness from Him for the wrongs we have done.... and commit our hearts and lives to Him. It doesn't matter how long or short we have to live.
If my family has done that, oh I want to praise God with them for that!
If they haven't, how I pray that they would!
If Gram hasn't done that, made a choice for God in her 95 years, I want her to have that choice clearly presented to her in these last weeks she has on this earth, in this body.
Maybe she will ask Jesus to forgive her, and accept Him into her heart.
Maybe she already has.
Maybe it will be through someone else who has spoken to her.
Maybe someone already has.
Maybe it will be me.
Maybe it will be someone else ministering to her these last days.
I don't know.
I just hate the thought that she is holding out a hope of something new or different, when she could be holding onto Jesus, knowing He is holding her, with His peace and assurance inside of her.
I am praying that anything I sensed yesterday wasn't true, and that she truly has a living faith in Christ.
Please pray for me. Pray for my family. Pray for Gram (Jean). Pray that I have the opportunity to talk to her, or pray with her (or both) before she dies.
Thank you so much,