“A LITTLE GIRL NAMED HOPE”
Grandma lay in the hospital bed, a shadow of the vital, energetic woman she had been just a year ago. Her strong hands that were endlessly involved in her family’s life, providing, comforting, and disciplining, now lay listlessly on the bed cover, thin and fragile. Eyes that always had been sparkling with life and occasionally sparking with irritation when one of her grandchildren had been “acting the fool” now were clouded with pain and fatigue. Her famous silver cloud of hair that she always wore in a short halo around her head? Long gone in the garbage heap of life, along with her energy and zest for life.
Grandma was very ill and she had no illusions of recovering. Cancer had walked into her life fifteen months ago. Rudely ignoring any common courtesy of announcing its arrival, it had quietly and insidiously sneaked in, hiding its presence until it had managed to gain a stronghold with tentacles snaking throughout her once indomitable body. The oncologist efforts with chemotherapy and surgery to rein in its reign of terror had proven to be as ineffective as a household water hose against a city-wide fire.
Into her dimly lit room, a grieving daughter led her own tiny daughter. Mom and Dad had agreed last night that it was time for their little girl to say her goodbye to Meemie. As they tiptoed toward the bed where her grandmother lay, the little girl’s eyes widened in shock. The Meemie she had always known, the strong, fun-loving, outspoken woman who had helped shape the first seven years of her life was not lying in that bed. In her place was just a shadow, a feeble imitation of the lady who had helped to surround her with love and security.
Tears filled the mother’s eyes as she watched her daughter quietly lean toward the bed. Tenderly gazing down into the beloved wrinkled face, the child reached out to lightly stroke the almost transparent skin. With her other hand, she picked up one of the lifeless hands and held it gently in her own.
Then she placed a little foot on the lowered guard rail, boosted herself up on the bed, and laid her head down on the pillow next to Meemie. Mom inched closer to the bed, unwilling to disturb what was happening, but yet wanting to hear what would be said.
In her soft little girl voice, the child began whispering in the ear of her grandmother.
“Meemie, this is Hope. I love you so much. Momma told me I’ve come to say goodbye ‘cuz you’re going to Heaven. And we won’t be talking anymore for a long time. But she said that I will see you again. And you will be able to play with me like you used to. And then, you will have your Hope and God with you forever!
Never give up on Hope and your God.