It has been a summer to remember; a summer that has challenged my physical and emotional stamina. School is beginning again and things have almost setted down – almost.
On June 9, my precious grandmother fell. Up until that day she lived at home and did fairly well for someone who is 98 years old. That day, however, was a ‘game changer’. The circumstances of the fall made evident the fact that she could no longer live at home. She fell during the middle of the night and lay in the floor for several hours. Oh, yes. She had a ‘lifeline’ bracelet on her wrist. She decided not to call them because she knew the paramedics would take her to the hospital. Sigh. Well, her main injury was broken ribs. She spent a week in the hospital.
When I received the call that she had fallen, I was teaching music in Vacation Bible School at my church. I immediately left, packed my suitcase and drove to her home, which is two hours from my house.
Mom, at the age of 98, has outlived most of her family. She has buried two sons, a husband, and all of her brothers and sisters. I am the oldest grandchild, and the one who has received the mantle of caring for her. Though this is no small task, I count it to be a privilege and blessing. I don’t know if I can put into words what she means to me and how much I love her.
I will be sharing in the next few posts what I have learned from her this summer.
When my grandmother, Mom, was in the hospital by back in September and October, I met a lady who defines the term “Cancer Warrior”. I don’t remember her name or any specifics about where she lives. However, I did get permission to write about her in my blog. For whatever reason, I just had not written about her until now.
This amazing woman has gone to battle with cancer 39 times and each time has been victorious! I can not give you the info about all the different types of cancer she has had, and undoubtedly many of those cancers are related. I learned about her when I met her daughter in the hospital cafeteria, and then I visited her in her hospital room.
I found her to be a strong spirited woman with a quick smile and a hearty laugh. Her ready sense of humor was immediately evident and has no doubt contributed to her ability to deal with the stress of having cancer time after time. She also showed strength of spirit and determination to live and love life to its fullest. There was not a hint of self pity in her speech. Instead she had a spirit of thankfulness and gratitude for every day she lived. She was totally amazing.
Her husband was equally amazing. He also had a great sense of humor. However, what I saw in him was a determination that she would not die from cancer. He was her support and sometimes her advocate. He researched her cancers and became a source of knowledge for her. His own health problems did not take away his attention from her. However, I did not get any indication that he was neglecting his own health at all. I think he realized that he could best help his wife, if he were healthy.
Meeting this family was definitely a God moment for me. I don’t know where they are at this time, and as I mentioned above, I don’t remember their names, but they impacted my life and gave me a new understanding of what it means to go to battle with this disease we call Cancer.