Monday, March 23, 2009

A Week to Live

This morning I did something I knew I should do. No, I did not compromise on my earlier post called "Don't Should On Me". But I made a difficult phone call that I knew needed to be made. I know myself well enough after 54 years, that I would regret it later if I did not make the call. Last Friday in the middle of moving the reception I had planned for 40 people to a different venue due to an unexpected sign-up of 72 people (!!), I received a call telling me that my aunt was going home from the hospital to die at home within the next week.
Believe it or not I hung up the phone after that message & got right back into my table & chair & food moving without much more thought about my 80 year old aunt. The last time I saw her was more than 15 years ago. We really have no relationship other than the reports my mom (her sister) gives me over the years. What could I say to her? The typical "Hi, how are you?" certainly would not be appropriate. What in the world do you say to someone who has just days to live? What is she thinking, what would she want to hear from me?
But I woke up this morning knowing that I needed to make the call. Maybe it would make a difference to her. Can't imagine why or how, but still I knew it had to be done even if it was terribly uncomfortable for me. It's not about me, it's about her. But it IS actually a bit about me, because I know I would be disappointed in myself if I did not do it. Sometimes the hard, awkward or difficult thing needs to be done & cannot be put on someone else.
So I gathered myself up & punched the numbers into my phone. Her daughter, my cousin, answered & told me that she was still alert & handed the phone to my aunt. Her words were weak & slurred but she was pleased to hear from me. She told me that all her kids were with her & she was ready to go. I asked if there was any certain thing that I could pray for her about & she said that her skin itched terribly. That surprised me! She has days to live & her only prayer request is about itchy skin. I prayed for her to feel comfortable, peaceful & itch free with moisture coming back to her skin so she could rest better. I also told her some things that I felt God wanted her to know about His love for her & His pleasure in the life she has led.
My aunt has lived a life of hardship in many ways. Years of sickness, trials in relationships & never enough money. But she also is surrounded by her very closeknit children & grandkids. None of them have moved far from her & they are the joy of her life. The end of a life is an awesome thing to ponder. I'm sure everyone has things they may regret as they come near the end of their life, but I am convinced that God is not as hard on us as we are. My aunt is nearing the end of her pain. She knows that the best is yet to come & even though she may be a bit fearful about it, the peace that I heard in her voice was a beautiful thing.


  1. did the right thing! Bless you for that! This was a very touching entry and it reminder me of my brother who's now 46, and wouldn't call and talk to our dad when he was dying 4 years ago. I said to the rest of the family..."Well, that's his choice and he's going to have to live with his decision!" after not talking with him for many, many years. Then I said.."I bet he'll want his inheritence, won't he!" Sure enough, he got right back to me with an address when it was time to dole out the money. Funny though, my dad just left him ONE dollar, due to the long estrangement. Sad...but true. I am glad your situation is better and that your aunt can go in peace! Blessings, Lisa

  2. 1000 times yes Brenda- the right move my friend, for sure xx

  3. This is a great post--confronting the amivalence of important decisions, not betraying the voice of the spirit of God when he says, "Pick up the phone," etc. Just a very authentic post, and that's why I like you as a blogger.


Hi Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment even if it has nothing to do with the specific blog, it's great to know that you are writing stuff that real live people actually read, ya know?