Last May, my “Grandy” was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After seeing a couple of doctors, she was given the news that she had just 4 months to live. We were devastated, but she wasn’t. She told us that her desire was to die without any surgery or anything to prolong her life because she, at 72 years old, was ready to meet Jesus. Our family was shocked and overwhelmed with grief. She has always been the rock in our family - the person everyone went to with their problems and their good news. The person who faithfully pointed her family members to Jesus. The person who served my grandfather for over 50 years of marriage and made sure that everyone knew how much she loved him. The person who prayed for every member of her family every day. I can’t tell you what a blessing it is to know that someone is calling your name in prayer every single day!
And just as she had sought to glorify God with her life, her prayer now was to “glorify God even in death.” Rather than viewing cancer as a tragic burden, she embraced it as God’s good will for her life. When I was at her home, not long after the diagnosis, she said to me, “Dianna, what can be greater than meeting Jesus? I get to finally meet my Savior, who died for me!” I stood in awe the first time I heard her speak those words because I knew only God could grant her such faith in the midst of such suffering.
We lived about three hours apart, and since I was in my last trimester of pregnancy, I couldn’t see her as often as I liked. But we continued our weekly talks on the phone. I was struck by how she continued to think of others and to see God’s hand even during the worst of her sickness. During one of our phone conversations, I broke down and she comforted & ministered to me saying, “Dianna, don’t cry for me. Remember where I’m going. But until I get there, know that I will pray for you until my last breathe.” When Hospice began coming at the end of July, she endured some of the more humiliating trials associated with terminal illness. She never grumbled. With sincerest gratitude she told me, “Isn’t God good to me in sending people to help me?” It reminded me of one of my favorite things she often said: “I believe God has been better to me than anyone else!”
Grandy didn’t live the 4 months the doctor had predicted. She died on August 14th, exactly one week before my first child was born. I have never experienced such grief and sorrow as with her death. But I grieve for my loss - not hers. She is with her King and although I desperately wanted her to meet her first great-grandchild, the Lord knew what was best. As much as Grandy wanted to see my first baby, she wanted to see her Savior more.
She often reminded me that she just had “feet of clay.” But those feet of clay left a path of obedience, faithfulness and godliness for me to follow for which I am eternally grateful. I still miss her so much, but I grieve with hope for I know she is worshiping our Savior and one day, I’ll worship with her!