Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Strange Kind of Sense

My grandmother had been back in the hospital due to another fall. The first night she was in so much pain, it was hard to be with her. I started to wonder why God was letting her flounder like that. Why leave her in torment? She was much better the next day, happy, talking. I sat with her for a while late that night, in the quiet of her hospital room, and I found myself rather entranced by all her ramblings. If I hadn't been listening so closely, she would not have made a whole lot of sense. But, she was so intent on telling me all the things running through her mind, I could not help but listen. I think I learned a few things about her that surprised me.

If you have ever had someone you love go through Alzheimer's or something similar, you know how hard it is to watch the person you love just melt away. I couldn't stand it. I  was having a hard time understanding what the purpose could be behind this suffering. I should never have questioned. When will I learn that God is truly awesome?

As I sat with my Nain that night, she was full of light. Her face was animated and so, so happy. She held my hand and looked into my eyes. I just let her talk. She told me so many things, some fragments of memories, some stories, and some bits and pieces that I could not make any sense of. She told me about falling in love with my grandfather. She said she loved him the moment she laid eyes on him. Nain talked about her baby girl, and her two little boys. My grandmother has always been a little hard, a little unreachable, so this little lady, with the bright eyes, just pouring love out at me...I was mesmerized. She truly had me hanging on her every word. She told me how we need to love, always. That the only thing that mattered was that we love. And to pray. She told me to always be on my knees in prayer, that it was so important, and the only thing we could ever do that mattered. She told me that we have a wonderful family and that she was glad that we all loved each other so much.

Nain talked about her mother and dad, and how much she loved her brothers. She told me that whenever she was in trouble her boys, as she called them, would swoop down and carry her away. She told me about her best friend, Jean. She and Jean had grown up with one another. They had been neighbors from the time they were 1 year old. Nain talked about Jean a lot. She said she was a true love. They stayed friends all of their lives. She told me she missed her terribly when they were apart, married and raising children.

I stayed a long time that night. She was just too fascinating to leave. She told me all about how there is a job that must be done, and that we must be the ones who do it, because no one else will. She did go on to say that the job was about creating a new "healthy gum" because "so many kids these days chew gum" and if she didn't create the healthy gum with lots of vitamins and nutrients, then no one else would. I got the feeling that perhaps this was something she thought about a lot when her kids were small. She had it all planned out and presented it as a proposal, almost. She made me laugh, and I had to agree that gum was indeed a big problem and someone needed to do something.

 I think these moments with my grandmother are so precious. I think it makes a strange kind of sense. Her ramblings have me falling in love with a grandmother I never knew. I am learning bits and pieces of her life, and seeing why, maybe, she was a bit on the hard side. She'd lived an incredibly hard life. She's had many great sorrows, which I knew, but all along she'd had a quiet joy that I did not suspect. I like getting to see pieces of that now. Her devotion to prayer surprised me a little, but not my mom. Mom told me that all her life, Nain was down on her knees. I'm glad to know that. God has a funny little plan here, don't you think? This little woman, who has been through so much, but has been hard to reach, maybe a wee bit hard to love, is suddenly a joy. She is sweet where she used to be a bit mean. She tells me she loves me often, when growing up, I was never too sure she liked me at all. Her smiles, her strange little stories, her falling, hospitalizations, all of these things, I think have been part of a plan all along. Because I pray for her so much now. I prayed for her always, of course. In a perfunctory sort of way, except in times of trial. But I pray for her now like I never have. I love her, I want her days left on earth to be peaceful and happy, and I want for her to go to the Lord when it is time, so I pray, and I love. I think it is all starting to make a perfect kind of sense.


  1. Megan, I think there is a higher power at work here in your Grandmothers transformation. Perhaps she is done with all the tensions and trials in this life and looking towards her eternal life. You learn a lot about people at times like these. By the way, I think the gum thing is a great idea. We all love gum so much - especially kids. Maybe you can take her ideas and develop them into a million dollar idea and save kids at the same time. It's a thought!

  2. I think you are correct about the higher power being at work. I see it in so many ways with my Nain.
    Your cottage is so gorgeous - I know it was probably a pain in the neck, but it seems well worth it! Enjoy, and thanks for stopping over!
    Blessings, Megan

  3. This story reminded me of my grandmother. It's been almost 17 yrs. since she went home to be with the Father. I took care of her for two yrs. after her stroke. Her body was crippled but her mind was sharp. We became very close in those two years and I will forever cherish the time we spent together. She shared with me many things I never knew about her life. She was such a strong and loving woman. I miss her so much. I was blessed to be with her when she passed over. I crawled up in the bed next to her and told her it was ok to go to Jesus and that we would be ok. She smiled and took her last breath - it was beautiful.


  4. April - what an amazing story - ours is a bit different, obviously, but I have been blessed to have the opportunity to spend time with a grandmother I never really knew before.

    I'm sure you still miss her, I still miss my other grandmother who died 13 years ago. I still have dreams about being in her kitchen, some feel like I am truly there.

    We've been sorting through some of Nain's things, taking this and that to the nursing home, donating the things she can't use. I came across a sweater that she'd worn for many years. It still smells like her. Everytime I hold it, I miss the person she used to be, and wish for something better for her than the deterioration of her mind that is happening now. All in God's time.


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