There was something about tonight that is sketched in watercolour across the back of my mind. I don’t want it to ever fade, because the picture of it so moves me, and it reminds me why I fell in love with Jack in the first place.
When Grandma answered the door, fumbling for the doorknob for what seemed an eternity, and then slowly opening it and leaning on it for strength, I think I was frozen at first - stunned to see her standing looking so dishevelled and incoherent and exposed. Jack didn’t need time to let that information sink in. He wrapped his arms around her and said, “Oh, Grandma – I’m so glad we came.”
Gently, he took her hand, and led her into the house – whispering into her ear and gesturing for me to phone Julie. At each step – he calmly explained to his grandma what was happening, and why we were calling for help. She clung to him with her left hand and he wouldn’t leave her side – even for a minute. I almost felt like an intruder – with my bumbling efforts to help.
Jack normally isn’t soft or compassionate – but today, when he saw his grandma, so needy and insecure, he held her so delicately and tenderly that he gave back to her – even in her confusion – the dignity that sickness had taken away.
As we waited for the ambulance to arrive to take her to the hospital, suddenly I remembered how Jack’s mother had prayed for me – and I told Jack I wanted to pray for Grandma too. I took her hands as tenderly as I could – and kissed them. Then I gathered my courage, and with words that were bolder than my spirit felt – I began to ask the One I love to watch over grandma. My Father – who comforted me in my loss, Jehovah Rapha – God, our healer met with me as I reached out to Him in desperation. As I spoke, I found I didn’t feel like a stranger in His presence. Simple words tumbled from my mouth as we heard the wail of the ambulance arriving. I stepped back and Grandma reached for me. She was trying to tell me something. The EMT’s started talking to Jack and it felt like the peace of the preceding moment had been shattered by utter chaos. I strained my ears to hear and tried to catch what she was saying as her eyes locked on mine – I’m almost positive I caught the words, ‘thank you’.