“I don’t feel like reading anymore.” Those six words made me stop talking on the phone with Lila. Something was very wrong. Her back was hurting, her stomach was upset, and she was fatigued. Her appetite was gone.
“You need to go to the doctor. This may be more than the aches and pains of being 92.”
- Quick Exam
- Blood Work
- CT Scan
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Stage 4
When she got the news, she said immediately, without tears, “Though life always had some issues, I got everything I ever wanted. I got my five children, thirteen grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren. I’ve lived a wonderful life, and look forward to my heavenly life.”
Lila made phone calls to every precious child, every precious grandchild, and broke the news. Tears shed by all except her. And then a plan is made.
Her precious books are boxed and given to other readers. The most important books are taken for children and grandchildren to cherish. Her journals, full of poems and essays are stored, to be shared on this blog.
We find 20 handwritten copies of Lila’s favorite poem from Julian of Norwich, scattered throughout her apartment:
“All shall be well,
And all shall be well,
And all manner of things shall be well.”
Lila’s fabric is given to others to sew, to make quilts for disaster victims. The library/sewing room is made into a bedroom for her children to sleep in after we take our shifts with her in the hospital hospice room.
Only two at a time. Covid. We are the lucky ones. We take our shifts of two. Not the twenty-eight who would like to be there with her. Her family could take up the entire hallway outside the hospital hospice room. Covid.
Lila has hours of interaction and intercessions with God. She prays for others. Hundreds and hundreds of prayers for others. If you knew her, you were prayed for. Visions. We sing to her and for her. We pray with her and for her. She asks us to lay our hands on her, to help her to the other side. We coach her to go and leave the pain.
And then, after she cleansed her soul, she said, “I love you all so much!”, and she passed on with a smile. She passed on to heaven. She saw heaven, she heard heaven, she smelled heaven, she told us about heaven. We are so glad!
Lila was a 25 word or less national contest winner. She won a trip around the world, a trip to Paris, and lots of stuff! She didn’t remember most of the 25 words she wrote that won those things. The most important 25 words she lived her life around were these;
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that who believeth in him should not perish, but will have everlasting life. (John 3:16)