My anxiety grew as each step took me closer to my Grandmother. The rooms my husband and I passed had windows for doors, and I tried to avert my eyes. The beeps and sounds of life giving machines assaulted my ears, and the atmosphere seemed to be filled with hopelessness. I wanted to run; Instead, I kept walking.
Upon reaching my Grandmother’s room, I felt overwhelmed at the sight of her lying motionless, attached to a machine. My uncle, who was keeping vigil at her bedside, whispered a greeting to us.
During our visit my Grandmother awoke. Through weak, difficult breaths, she managed to get out the words, “I pray for ya’ll.”
When we left the Intensive Care Unit that day, I wondered if that was the last time I would see her.
Later in the week, my mom called to say my Grandmother had recovered. She was awake and sitting up in bed. I was overjoyed! The prognosis had not been good for her, but here she was well.
I told myself I would wait a few days before I went to visit, so she could get her rest. Then we could have a nice, long conversation.
All day long a feeling urged me to visit her. It became even stronger when I drove past the exit that went towards the hospital. But I dismissed it, telling myself that I had so many things to do, and that I would wait that couple of days until she was rested.
The next day, I received another phone call. My Grandmother had slipped into a coma overnight and the doctors said she wouldn’t be coming out of it. I berated myself, why hadn’t I gone to see her when I had the chance?
My husband took me to visit her in the hospital one last time.
We couldn’t go into her room without wearing a mask. She was no longer in the Intensive Care Unit, but in an isolated room at the end of a long hallway. The hospital had set it up so that we could say goodbye. As I put on my mask and entered the room, there were several people already there.
When I got a chance, I bent over my Grandma and kissed her on the forehead “I am so sorry I didn’t come to see you Grandma. I’m so sorry I didn’t come.”
I couldn’t stop the tears anymore. They began to roll off my face onto my Grandma, and I had to move away.
I left that day, knowing that it would be the last time I ever saw her on this earth.
My Mom called later on, to say that my Grandma had passed away. I can’t describe the feeling of loss I felt. This world would never be the same without her, and nobody could fill her place.
I sat down and cried. I told God I was sorry I hadn’t gone to see her while she was awake, that instead I’d made my to-do list a priority. I asked him for comfort, to let me know she was ok.
As I sat, words came pouring into my mind. I started writing them down, and as I wrote, more came.
Grandma has a mansion in heaven, she is truly happy now. She has left her cares behind her and has come into God’s house, where she walks streets of gold. Her house is filled with things she loves. She is visiting with people she has not seen in a long time. She is getting to know her mother. And when you get to heaven, you will be able to visit her for all eternity.
How these words comforted my heart.
I knew my sister would be comforted by them also, so I called and read them to her.
After she heard the words, she whispered, “Last night in the hospital, Mom was telling everyone that Grandma’s favorite song was A Mansion in Heaven.”
When my Mom heard the poem, she decided to have it written on Grandma’s program for her funeral service.
On a cold March morning, we had a graveside service for my Grandma. I stood on the grass feeling my legs and feet go numb from the cold. The dampness beneath my feet seemed to want to jump inside my shoes, and the wind carried away any sense of warmth from our bodies.
We all waited, huddled together in the cold. The funeral Director handed out the programs, but the pastor had not yet arrived. It turned out he had gotten lost and gone to the wrong place.
He arrived harried and apologetic for being late, and began to speak right away.
He told of a dream he had had when his own father had died, about a mansion in heaven. He went on to describe how this mansion looked, and how he had been taken through it in the dream.
When he finished speaking my Mom asked him to read the poem on Grandma’s program. He hadn’t seen it yet.
I asked God for comfort, and he answered. I asked him to let me know she was ok, and he did. I still wish I had gone to see my Grandma that day, but I know when I get to heaven I will be able to visit her for all eternity.
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you (John 14:2 NKJV).