Today, as I visited her at her home, she was much more comfortable than before. Her landscape was cheerful and expressed her personality through brightly colored blossoms. There was a peaceful arbor spreading shade over a sweet table with seating for two. Other flowering bushes offered privacy and shared their pleasing fragrance with anyone willing to take a moment to enjoy the pleasant bounty of spring.
Before discussing the business of the day, we spoke of her past few months. She told me about her illness and her plans for her future. We discussed her recent activities with her children and grandchildren. Recently she held a slumber night with her 15 grandchildren. She chose a small space and restricted each child from all electronic devices to ensure interaction and intimacy. Board games and waffles were abundant; TV’s, cell phones and I-pads were non-existent. Each of her grandchildren began the evening with complaints of impending boredom. Each of her grandchildren closed the event with a new appreciation of love and precious memories created with their grandmother.
I know that this activity was difficult and painful for her to host. Her health is fragile and she suffers extreme pain. She understands what is coming though, and she is systematically preparing her loved ones for her passing. She is actively creating memories for each of them, so that once she dies; they will have a treasured moment with her to call their own.
In my own life, I often reflect back to experiences with my grandmother. She also took time to create moments that taught her descendants strength and brought them peace. As a grandmother myself, I compare my actions against those of my grandmother. I try to live up to her generosity, her kindness, and her love for her grandchildren. I try to create memories with my grandchildren that will one day help them surmount the difficulties, trials and weaknesses that plague the human race.
This woman’s family is blessed with her wisdom and her courage to create peace, love, and confidence for them in her last few months of life. She is a strong and brilliant woman.
I often see families where loved ones do not have such thoughtful memories to draw upon. The lack of sweet familial experiences creates contention and self-doubt among descendants. Regardless of where you are in life, take the opportunity to create sweet memories with those you love. This dear woman is fortunate enough to know that her life will soon end, and dedicated enough to sacrifice her comfort for the future of those she loves. Sadly, this is not always the case near the end of life. Without notice, the grim reaper can call your number, and within a twinkling of an eye, life is over. Enjoy every moment you have with your family. Never waste an opportunity to express your love for them. If you do so, your family and loved ones will be better prepared for life without you by their side. They will face life with greater confidence and in times of weakness, they will be able to deflect temptation and heartache. They will survive, secure in their knowledge that you loved and provided for them, all that you could.