This morning we were called by the lodge where my 91-year-old mother-in-law resides. They wanted us to know that she was fading; that they had given her oxygen and Tylenol and were making her as comfortable as possible.
I rushed to sit with her and this is what I found. This tiny little lady, who in no way resembled the vibrant woman I had known and loved for thirty-five years, lay sleeping peacefully. When I searched her gaunt features, a stranger lay there. No longer my friend, my competitor for too many scrabble games to count, my lunch and shopping pal who was always ready to go and play in the stores with me and the person who had shared every Christmas with us since we’d met - this sleepy soul looked ready to meet her maker.
I prayed for her to finally be at peace and to go and join her beloved husband who’d passed on many years ago. Then I was racked with remorse for praying for her life to end. As I sat there, realism seeped in and pushed out the guilt.
I wasn’t sorry this poor, emaciated lady was leaving us. I was just thankful we’d had her in our lives for so many wonderful years.
All the anxiety and stomach clenching dissolved and became replaced it with simple common sense.
Life really is for the living…
This lovely woman had had her turn and made the best of her lifetime opportunity. Now it was our turn to follow in her footsteps and make our time here count in the same way she showed us by example.
So… when He releases you from the silken chains that bind you to this earth, my dear friend, I’ll be happy for you. And when the tears come, they’ll be for me… because I’ll miss you.