Margaret lived in a nursing home in Florida to spend her final years before time was ready to take her. She was a sweet lady, mildly confused, but mobile. She was bustling about her room, making her bed and setting up the pillows at its head. She was running a brush through her silver hair, when the nurse came in with a dinner tray.
Margaret smiled at her. "No thank you. I won't be having dinner, my husband is coming for me at six." Margaret sprayed a bit of perfume on her wrist, then patted her hair into place.The nurse set the tray on her bedside table.
"In case he runs late, I will keep it here." The nurse smiled with indulgence at the older woman.
"Daniel is never late," Margaret told her. Margaret's husband, Daniel, had died ten years earlier, but she felt no need to argue the point with the sweet lady and she left to pass the other trays.
After an hour, the nurse came to pick up Margaret's tray, it was untouched. Margaret was resting on her bed, a gentle smile on her lips. The nurse went to wake her. Soon she realized Margaret had passed.
She called the doctor to pronounce her dead.
It was 5:50.
Daniel wasn't late.
Marie was born in 1895. Her life was spent pouring her love upon her family, including a sister she took in after the death of her mother. She lost her beloved husband, Peter, in 1963.
Thirty years later she finally began to tire. We urged her to stay for 100 years but she was ready and at peace with dying at the young age of 98, and it did seem so young on her.
Her children were with her while she was on her death bed, at the very end, she sat up, her eyes wide with wonder, her lips smiling.
She then eased gently back on her pillow and took her last breath.What had she seen?
I think she saw Heaven. The gates opened wide for this gentle woman and just inside the gates was Peter. In my selfishness, I wanted my grandmother to live forever. It's not fair to lose someone so easy to love.
My new years resolution is to be as easy to love as she was.
Jennifer Childers, author"Kindertransport"
Wild Rose PressAugust 2009