i see her now, laying there.
there. but not there.
every few minutes–sometimes amid the stupor of the pain medicine, other times between its effect–she stretches her arms upward….
the act was curious to us at first. so we googled:
These symptoms may be caused by reduced oxygen to the brain, metabolic changes, dehydration, pain medications, or a combination of these.
it goes on to talk about “terminal delirium,” a state of being when a person is near death.
for weeks now we’ve exchanged knowing looks: her condition itself may not be imminently terminal but we sense that she is ready–even longing–for that journey.
so it makes sense that “reaching out toward heaven” would be among what could be her final acts in this life.
“reaching toward heaven” has been a way of life for our family’s matriarch. she’s attempted to direct us kids there. through countless acts of humble service, she’s modeled what it looks like to walk, armed with faith and hope, the narrow road–the one that’s less traveled and harder to follow–that would help lead one there. if you called her in the morning or in the early afternoon, she’d say she was just reading her Bible, comforting herself with the many promises it contains. and among my favorite illustrations of this heavenward posture is her soaring alto voice. i think i shall miss that most of all.
as i sit here unable to sleep, listening to her breath, i ponder this moment.
i don’t know if this is the end or not.
it feels like it might be.
and it occurs to me that her outstretched arms might be a sign.
or just another act of a Godly woman with a heavenward state of mind.