I spent today with my grandma.
It was a hard day.
Over the last couple of weeks my daily visits with my grandma have consisted of random hallucinations and spurts of rage. She has been mad that she is sick. Mad that there are children doing construction in the middle of the night. Mad that she can't be at home. Mad that there are cockroaches on the walls. Mad that we don't see the cockroaches or the children. Mad that she is not with her husband. In Heaven.
It has been hard seeing her change. It is hard to be with her when she is not herself, but it is worth it to be there in the moments that she is.
Most days, when she has calmed down, we sit, sing to her favorite album of hymns, and watch the birds.
Right outside her window there are bird feeders. They attract many kinds of birds. Red, blue, brown, gray, yellow, big, small, you name it.
They are a beautiful reminder of a beautiful God during an ugly situation.
Today was a different kind of day.
The will to be angry has left my grandma's body.
She is weak. Too weak to eat. Too weak to drink. Too weak to talk. Too weak to be angry.
We sat together and sang her favorite hymns, over and over again. Her words were just jumbled up sounds, but she sang her heart out.
She tried to talk, but other than a few words only mumbled sounds came out. I understood her call my grandpa's name several times. And I understood, when as clear as day, she shouted out "Glory Hallelujah!"
I couldn't see what she was seeing, but as I sat and watched the birds I could see a sign of Heaven right outside that window.
Today there were not many birds. No blue jays or robin red breasts, sparrows, or finches. Most of the usual visitors were no where to be found.
Today there were only two birds at my grandma's window.
My grandpa loved doves, and doves loved my grandpa's gentle spirit. Growing up there were always doves around my grandpa. Sometimes even sitting on his shoulder.
God couldn't have given a better sign. A reminder of peace and love and the beauty that is soon to come for my grandma. A sign that God never leaves us nor forsakes us.
So today was hard. Not the kind of hard the last few weeks and months have brought. It was hard because she was herself. And I know that there are not many moments left to enjoy her here on earth. And I will miss her.
As I watched the birds today and was reminded of the glorious and beautiful home that lies ahead, my grandma, with her mumbled sounds, sang her heart out to this song:
"So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown."
And I know Jesus understood every word.