This is the window my Dad rescued from a church that was being torn down and had a special window frame made to install in their victorian home.
My Mother has been under going cancer treatment for several years now. She is 73. My Father has been the primary caregiver. He is 76. Recently she had what is called a "silent heart attack". It is called silent, because there are no symptoms or warnings.
My Mother was a smoker for 50+ years on top of a tendency for asthma. She promised her mother (who was also a smoker with emphysema) on her death bed, that she would quit. Already a constant user of an inhaler, my mom did quit, but it was too late.
Down to 121 pounds her arms bruised from being poked and prodded; modesty and vanity have given way to weariness. The bald head with tufts of goose feathers around the ears, is exposed; once covered by a wig for fear the grandchildren would be frightened. "Nanny is so beautiful", shares my daughter, later, illustrating the bitter- sweet poignancy of our recent visit.
Having heard the news that my mother was in the hospital before our trip up North, I responded the only way I knew how--I got down on my knees and prayed. I prayed before we left, when we got there and I continue to pray. One time I was ready to go to sleep and I heard the Holy Spirit say, "Go to her and pray". I prayed over my mother while she was sleeping. Sure of the Holy Spirit anointing, I went to bed confident that there would be good results. She was terrific the next day. Bright, full of spunk, it looked like my prayers were answered. Then the following day she was incoherent. What had happened? Didn't my prayers "stick"? Had I just tricked myself into thinking something was happening? I only had a few days there and I wasn't getting a clear directive like I had the night before. Where is that darn Holy Sprit, I caught myself thinking. What I realized once again is that I am nothing without the help of God. I comforted my mother the next day, rubbed her, helped her, we even laughed as I tried to hoist her into bed. I had to leave and mom was still not doing well. I went over the symptoms in my mind and the pills she was taking. Called my brother, whose shift was next and went over what I thought should happen. I could wish all I want for the power to change things, the power to heal, the power to make all things new, but the sad fact is-- I have no control. I need God. And God may not find me worthy or full of enough faith.
If I were a merciful God as I believe my God to be, would I let my mother go on as she is? When I pray for healing, I am not just praying for her to live, I am praying for her to have a quality life. My mother has not been a believer, but now she now finds comfort in my prayers. That my Dad still curses Jesus, and my mother says, "Don't do that", sums up the dynamic of their 50+ year marriage. Mom always on the positive side of the spectrum, Dad on the negative side, or as he would say, realistic. Totally devoted to my mother and overwhelmed, my father is a man who is used to being in control. Now, he has very little of it, caring for her. He can double check doctors and find out the latest research, but when there's nothing left to debate, all that is left, is what is left of the wife he once knew. Now they meet in the middle-- in the state of virtual helplessness.
Every day they are confronted with the task of self-mastery, of overcoming the obstacle of the moment, of having their own kind of faith that tomorrow will be a better day. This kind of love and determination between two people even in persistent desperation, should be music to the ears of angels.
My daughter asks, "Will Nanny go to heaven?"
I say, "Yes".
She questions, " But she doesn't believe in Jesus."
"Oh yes she does." I reply. "Yes, she does......... Grandpa, too."
When I was praying days before for healing and miracles, the Lord told me to listen and not to judge by what I see. I realized that miracles come in forms, and to people, (including myself) that we don't expect. That, by definition is a miracle. Will I hear trumpets, tambourines or claps of thunder? Maybe. So far, my miracles have come in a whisper of tenderness and the marvel of human perseverance that can only be fueled by heaven.