On November 22, 2016 I wrote a blog -“Why the Mask?” Date to Date, it’s now one month less a day since I wrote that blog. Today, I visited my friend who has been placed on palliative care and sent home to be cared for periodically by PSW, nurses, and an assigned doctor who visits once a week. The last 24 hours were very difficult for me as I strained to listen to her on the phone. Her voice was soft and I knew that things were changing. My friend has had better days and worse days, but the last couple of weeks she has been experiencing excruciating pain and discomfort.
My friend has had her colon removed earlier this year and certainly her lifestyle has changed as expected. She lives between the hospital (if things get unbearable) and home for all of 2016. She lives with pain and discomfort that far exceeds my imagination. She’s a mother of three beautiful daughters, she’s a wife and a grandmother of one. She’s lost all her weight and most of her hair. She’s doesn’t have an appetite. She’s confined to a hospital bed, and I’m certain I can go on and on with a list of things leading right up to me throwing a pity party for her. But keep on reading and you will understand why I listed most of what has now become her realty world …She’s maybe in her final minutes, hours, or maybe weeks of bidding this world a final farewell.
Today, I visited her and I cannot tell you in words the varied emotions that rose up within me. I sat closely to her and held her hands for three long hours while I played YouTube Praise and Worship songs on repeat. The first hour – I cried uncontrollably but silently while holding her hands. She’s only 45 years old. I sobbed as I held her hands and watched her now reduced tiny frame resting in peace on her bed of inflictions. I fed her small cuts pieces of watermelon and ice. I took her temperature much to her amusement as I struggled to find the opening to the prepackaged disposable sleeves for the thermometer. I had her sit up for a short while and gently creamed her body to soothe her tired body. It was such a pleasure to physically do all I could have to make my friend a little more comfortable than I met her.
My girlfriend and I go back to many years. Her second daughter told me today that I was like the grandmother in their home as I was allowed to scold, to love and to speak into their lives. Today, they are 20, 19 and 9 years old. My heart broke into millions of pieces as I hugged her daughter, and reminded her that her Mom and I used to pray for each of them and their father. Her 19 year old daughter spoke to me of her Mother’s imminent death. It was like if we were talking about a movie we both watched. I was greatly encouraged as I listen attentively to her maturity and courage.
I’ve heard many people curse Cancer, but NOT once did I ever hear my friend ask God – Why? NOT once did I hear her curse her illness. NOT once did tears fall from her face. NOT once did she complain or grumble. NOT once did she fret about the care she was getting. Her strength and courage defined the type of trust she has in her God. She has accepted whatever lies ahead for her … whether death, a miracle, or days of lying on a hospital bed at home. She’s at peace with her God, her husband, her children, and herself.
She’s such a remarkable woman of God. Her eldest daughter’s only request from her mother was – “Mom, I want a double portion of your faith.” What an impression my friend has left on her family – a legacy of FAITH not doubt or fear. I’m happy I had the opportunity to mentor my friend in the years gone by. When you know God holds your world in His hands, you never have to fear, nor question His doings. Whether it’s a heart attack, an accident, a plane crash – do you ever hear anyone saying – curse or f… any of these incidents. Therefore, why does anyone think that cursing Cancer is good energy? God has gone ahead to prepare a place for all those who trust His doing. Dying isn’t bad, as a matter of fact – we all have to die. Is dying without knowing Jesus and not having a relationship with Him – is bad.
Whenever my journey on life has come to an end, please join with the host of my family and friends who have gone on before me and sing along with them – It is well with my soul.