She sat on the edge of her bed, looking at herself in the mirror on the dresser. Her face looked pale, and there were tears running down her face. She felt too weak yet to lie down on her bed, so she just sat there, with the breeze coming in her bedroom window, and tried deep breathing to calm herself down.
She had a secret. She had carried this for some time now. She could never find the right time to tell anyone, for fear her life would change, and the lives of others who she touched would be changed forever.
Grace lived on a hill in a small town, about twenty miles from the nearest big city of Michigan. Her husband had passed away from cancer ten years ago, but yet she could remember it as if it was yesterday. Her children were grown and had all moved to bigger areas to raise their families. Grace now lived in her big home all alone, except for her two parakeets and her old dog, named Brute.
Brute had become the man of the house since Johnny had died. He followed Grace everywhere she went, and lie at the bottom of the bed as she slept, keeping ears and eyes open for sounds.
Grace had never worked outside of her home. She had done odd jobs at times, taking in ironing for neighbors, and offering her services in spring and fall cleaning. She spent holidays baking cookies and candies, then she would walk from neighbor to neighbor, so she could hand deliver each gift with a hand written card. You could also find Grace tending to anyone who she heard was ill. Tidying up their house, taking a pot of soup to them. Often you could hear her reading her favorite scriptures from the Bible to her sick friends. Everyone loved Grace.
Now it was her turn to need help, but she refused to let anyone know she was ill. She wanted to have her life continue as it was, and to die in her own home. Grace didn’t want pity and she didn’t want to see sorrow on others faces when they came to visit.
She wanted to continue to bake and when company came, or sometimes when she was surprised by a visit from family, she wanted to greet the grandchildren with cookies and milk.
Grace had not been feeling well for several months, and noticed every time that she ate, no matter how little or too much, her stomach swelled. When it became more difficult to breathe from her swollen belly, she made herself an appointment with her family doctor. After a thorough check up and many questions asked, there were special testings ordered to eliminate or confirm different thoughts the doctor had.
A week had gone by, and she received the call. The nurse ask her if she could come in to the office in two days in the morning at 9:00am. She replied with a yes, and hung up the phone.
She tried to stay busy. She spent time on her swing out in her yard, watching the birds. Once in a while a car would drive by and honk, and they would each wave at each other. She baked a little, and did a load of white laundry.
In two days she entered the doctor’s office to hear the words colon cancer. Grace started to cry, and the doctor came over to her and put his arm around her and said together they would fight this, but inside her heart, Grace knew her time was short-lived. She had waited too long to seek a doctor’s help. She looked up at the doctor and asked him how much time she had, and he shook his head back and forth, and neither said a word.
She went from the doctor’s office back to her home. She wasn’t hungry, and found herself very tired, so went and laid down on her bed. She slept well into the night and when her eyes had opened, it was day break.
Over breakfast, she went into her memories, and replayed Johnny’s illness. The medications that were prescribed, the cancer treatments. She remembered how ill he had become from the side effects of all he had been given. She remembered a week before he passed, that Johnny had barely whispered to her, that if he could do it all over again, he would have died normally, with God’s help and no medications.
She remembered the neighbors stopping by frequently, dropping off cakes and casseroles, staying long enough to chat with her, telling her about someone else who had suffered the same thing, and how much they had pained, and how this person or that had taken it upon themselves to become leader, and the bickering and arguing that went on.
All of these memories brought tears to her eyes, as all she had ever wanted was to spend time alone with her Johnny, telling him that she loved him, telling him that she would be alright after he left. She had wanted to give him permission to go ahead and go home to their Lord, that she would be coming along soon, but she never got to do this. There was always someone there, and even when Johnny closed his eyes for the last time, there were many around his bed side.
The doctor had prescribed different medications to ease her pain, to stop the vomiting, and to help her sleep, but she never filled the prescriptions. She was ready to go home to be with her Johnny.
Family came for a visit near the end of her days. They had noticed that she looked thinner and had questioned her about this, even suggesting that she see her doctor. Grace had told them to please worry about something else that was of importance, that she was just watching her diet, and that she had added a few too many pounds. They accepted this, and the grandchildren, and her own children, had a wonderful visit.
Neighbors came and went, stopping for a short spell, a small time of talk, and moved on about their day.
For weeks went by, and she became more somber, as she knew that her time was close. She sat down and wrote her children and grandchildren each letters, telling them how she loved them so, and how they had been such a blessing to her life. She managed to do one last day of baking. She made her famous sugar cookies. After they were all cooled, she put them in small baskets, and the next day, took them to each of her neighbors and sat them on their door step, each with a note, of how much they meant to her, and how safe she had always felt since Johnny had died, knowing they were near by.
That evening, she found herself sick to her stomach, and saw blood in the stool. She went to her bed, and looked at herself in the mirror, and saw her pale face, and tears running down her cheeks. She was too weak to lie down, but she was so sleepy. She sat there for a few moments, feeling the breeze coming through her bedroom window, and then she lie down on her bed, and went home to see Johnny.
What do you see that I do not? I have asked myself this questions at different times, but today, I have asked myself this again. I see a person who cares for her brother, who tends to find herself on here complaining or whining as some term it. I could never turn my brother into strangers care, when I know I would sit home and worry if he had his bath, or did he like his meals today. It isn’t so much the nursing care he would receive, it is that I am a natural worry wart. You should see my body! It is full of these little warts! LOL
I have been very blessed today in receiving awards from my friends. It draws me closer to this community, making me realize I am never truly alone, that I have many who care about Al and me. The emotional support and words I read, can never be expressed in words enough for the way I feel when I read them.
E1aine lives in England with her husband and three children. She is very talented in jewelry making and loves cooking and poetry also. Feel free to check out her website by highlighting the link above and opening in a new window, or copying and pasting the link.
Thank you so much E1aine for the beautiful award.
The rules to this award are:
Describe yourself in seven words
short, plump, blonde hair, blue eyes, quiet, caring, and compassionate
What keeps you up at night?
too long of nap during the day or my fan not turned on
Whom would you like to be?
more of a spontaneous laughter
What are you wearing now?
a dress and sandals
What scares you?
this never changes, fear of darkness
What are the best and worst things about blogging?
The worst thing is I will probably never meet my special friends, YOU!, and the best thing, is I am able to express things that I can not say to another human face
What was the last website you looked at?
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
Learn to say no
Slankets, yes or no?
Tell us something about the person who nominated you.
Oops, I blew this one. I have spoken of her in the above section. She is a terrific lady, and if we lived closer together, I am sure she would be a part of my every day life.
The nominations for this award are:
Don’t forget the other two rules for this award.
Give credit back to the one who nominated you.
Nominate others who you know would enjoy this beautiful award.
Thank you again E1aine!
Please follow this link and see all the beautiful things that I have seen and learned. She lives in England and makes beautiful jewelry also.
There are usually rules to follow with these awards, and this one is no exception.
For today, I just want to know more about you, so write as many things as you would like to share with us.
Give credit back to the one who nominated you
Nominate others you would love to share this with.
Today, I made home-made vegetable soup for supper. It is simmering now for the rest of the afternoon, and smells yummy.
For my nomination I would like to pick
Thank you once again for this special award!
This link directs you to one strong Christian woman. She encourages me to go forward, and is such a wonderful friend to me. Please check out her website, and see for yourself, what she is all about.
The suggested rules for the”Reader Appreciation Award” are as follows:
Include the award logo somewhere in your blog
Tell 10 things about yourself, for fun if you want to
Nominate 10 to 12 blogs you enjoy. Or you pick the number
Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate
. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you
Follow the same rules for both of these awards.
One thing I have never told about me, is that I have watched the soap opera, The Young and The Restless, from the beginning of its time.
For nominations I would like to choose
I will add that you may pick one or both of these for yourself!!!
Thank you again forhisgloryandpraise!!!!
I belong to a web page called Wanda’s Country Home. In it today, one of the pages to read and share was this poem. I loved it so much I wanted to share it with you.
Please copy and paste this and see if it touches you also at times in your own lives.