We all stood around her.
We were waiting to make sure everyone had made it into the room.
My mom sat on one side of the bed with her, while her sister, Evelyn, sat on the other side.
My grandmother and grandfather had both been living at a nursing home for the past four months. Her mind had been quite delicate, Alzheimer's- they say. Thankfully, she still recognized us-still knew our names.
But this day at the nursing home was different.
The last time we had all gathered together like this was just a month before for Thanksgiving.
Now things were different.
A big Christmas tree was adorned in the lobby. Each door had a wreath on it. The Activity Director came around telling people that a local school choir was coming soon to sing some carols.
But inside Room 406 at 11:30 on December 10, 2019...Christmas was far from everybody's mind.
The room was filled with family, my grandparents' pastor of many years stood just behind her bed.
My mother held her mother's hand, gathering courage to speak.
Watching her tenderness brought tears to my eyes.
My grandmother started to get worried. She started asking for my grandfather, her security blanket of 62 years.
"Where's Rabeon? Where is he?"
I held my breath as my mother spoke the dreaded words, the words no body wanted to hear.
"He's gone. Daddy's gone to be with Jesus."
The news hit my grandmother like a ton of bricks. Even though they had shared a room together all this time, her feeble mind had kept her from seeing him become more and more debilitated.
Her eyes widened and she let out a great moan. She just couldn't understand how he died.
Her sister on the other side of her, lovingly rubbed her back. My mother continued to hold her hand, and just let her cry. The rest of us stood there, watching, helpless to help.
After a minute, her sister asked if she wanted to pray.
At this moment, this is when I saw it...
The image of a rope or life preserver was being thrown out to my grandmother by her sister.
Her offer of prayer in her sister's darkest hour, is the classic lifeline throw that all Christians do when we can't fathom our circumstances.
But see, my grandmother had a choice. She could have shaken her head no, and continued to wallow and cry out in pain. Or she could nod her head yes, and receive peace and comfort from the One who heals the brokenhearted.
The rope dangled there before her, waiting on her response. But she did not hesitate long. She clung to the rope for dear life, and let her sister pray over her.
It was a great comfort to me that she nodded her head yes. I guess, it struck me this way because of her feeble condition. That even though parts of her mind have refused to function, this part of her, this deep seeded part of her, still remained.
It was an incredible moment of faith for me to witness. A lasting legacy.
If you don't choose to run to Jesus and cling to Him for dear life....you'll only drown in your despair.
In the days that followed, my mother had the arduous task of planning the funeral. She also worried about her mother. Could she handle a trip to the graveside in her condition?
My mother exhibited great strength on that day.
She too took hold of the life preserver of faith, and hung on tight through out the whole process.
She tacked up some scripture and stories of biblical truth on her refrigerator, to remind herself of God's sovereignty, power, and love for her.
Psalm 18:6 "In my distressI called to theLord; I cried to my God for help.From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears."
Psalm 18:19 "He brought me out to a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me."