Twelve years ago today the A family gathered in a hospital room, joined hands and prayed together.
Three days prior I had awakened to my 12-year-old brother bursting into my bedroom while I still slept and saying, "Get up! We’re going to North Carolina because Grandma is going to die."
Although I didn’t want to believe those words, I soon learned it was very true. Grandma had collapsed at home and an ambulance had transported her to the hospital. Grandpa had called his three sons and their families to come say good-bye.
When we arrived at the hospital Mama asked the lady at the front desk, "Is Carolyn A still alive?" We gave a sigh of relief as she said yes and told us her room number.
The last day we were there, October 20th, 1996, the family gathered in a circle around the hospital room. I held Grandma’s right hand as we prayed. I did not pray but concentrated on soaking in the last time I would ever hold my Grandma’s hand and feel warmth, feel life.
After the prayer, one-by-one, the family began their goodbyes. It wasn’t long and my dad nudged me towards Grandma. It was my turn.
We hugged and she kissed my cheek. But that is not the part of telling her goodbye that is forever etched in my memory.
As I walked toward the door to leave the hospital room, I turned around for one last look at Grandma. I did not know, but she was looking at me too. Our eyes met and she lifted her hand to wave and smiled.
I cannot help but think that at that very moment the rest of my life was flashing before her eyes. At that time I was just 15 years old. Grandma knew my life was just beginning while hers, here on earth, was ending. I waved and smiled back to her and then walked through the door, leaving her hospital room.
Nine days later her Heavenly Father took her home.
Ten years to the day that I last saw Grandma alive, her diamond ring was placed on my finger as Dave proposed at Ridgecrest.
October 20th will always be a special day to me.