On the evening of October 5, my mom threw a lovely party in the Hospitality Inn room at Little Sisters of the Poor for my grandma’s 88th birthday. In the birthday card message I wrote (in very large, somewhat legible print) that my grandma’s life is proof that God’s still working miracles. It’s true! That my maternal grandmother, Marilyn is alive, grateful to be surrounded by family, appreciative of quality time with my mom, and still able to enjoy her favorite Chinese food and some delicious chocolate cake are quite remarkable!
Sixteen years ago February, my grandmother was diagnosed with the cancer Multiple Myeloma. Through a strong faith, loving family, close friends, a busy social schedule, and a proactive approach to her health and wellness, she has lived over a decade and a half longer than those doctors said she would.
A few years ago, she became very sick and after being hospitalized for months, was put in hospice, as they predicted she’d only live a matter of days, maybe weeks. Eventually we were rejoicing when she was kicked out of hospice care, because when the nurses would come to pay her a visit, she was too often out of her room playing cards, out to eat with mom, or off to see a movie.
My mom decorated the lounge at Little Sisters where my grandma lives with bright decorations, got take-out food from our favorite Chinese restaurant, and invited the family to come and celebrate.
My grandma, bless her heart, has had trouble with her memory for a while. Her birthday ended up being one of those days when she discovers and rediscovers things right before her very eyes. After she read the card Kevin and I gave her, she put it down on the table, then a moment later picked it up, as if for the first time, and read it again (with my help as even my really big print writing is a bit difficult to decipher). It was certainly an evening for “rejoicing:” my term for it when my grandmother reads or opens a gift with great joy, and then a few minutes later does it all over again with the same amount of surprise, gratitude, and enthusiasm.
Lord, thank You for the gift of such a strong woman of faith who, even when her mind is slipping, still loves and lives with an attitude of gratitude and wonder at the people in her life, the beauty of nature, and the blessings that are new every day