Thursday, August 21, 2014

a little bit like hope

She had started to slur her words. 

What's going on?  Depression?  Her mother had passed a couple years earlier.  The two had been very close.  The death hit hard.  Maybe so hard that depression was taking away her voice? 

It didn't seem so likely, when time kept passing and the words became harder and harder to decipher. 

A notebook and pen became a constant.

Man.  What in the world could it be?  67? 68?  Still so young.  She was so active and healthy and vibrant.  A firecracker

But then the diagnosis.  ALS.  What in the world.  Louis Gehrig's disease?  What does that even mean?  It means that she can't talk anymore.  It means that she can't clean her house.  Or decorate her own tree at Christmas.  It means that your super cool Nana with the candy apple red convertible mustang is going to slowly fade away.  Because there is no cure.  There is no treatment.  There's only suctions and feeding tubes and feeble hand squeezes. 

It means taking turns staying by her bedside at the hospital so she's never alone. 

It means soft music and foot massages.  And love.  And scripture.  And Jesus.

It means the most beautiful death. Surrounded by family and the most providentially timed reading of David's Psalm.  Last breaths counted and charted until there were no more.

And now all these buckets of ice...all these nominations and donations.  All this attention.  Towards a cure?  It feels a little bit like hope.