When I first heard – a few years ago – that my grandfather had terminal cancer and only three weeks to live, I asked for help. I asked God to heal my grandpa. And then I took it back. Apologized to God for being selfish. Told him how much I loved my grandpa. Thought for awhile on some of my favorite memories: Grandpa teaching me to bottle-feed a calf, helping him move sheep, walking through an old barn together, his laughter on the phone as he told about teaching Grandma to use an ATM, his pride in a perfectly-browned turkey, his whistle. I asked for a chance to say goodbye.
I believed then – and still do – that God was present in my remembering, that he helped me to know what to pray for, how to ask. My grandpa didn’t get better, but for a long time, he didn’t get worse either. And we visited. And he laughed and I laughed, and we both told stories. And then, about five months later, my grandpa fell asleep. And stopped breathing.
When I heard the news, I remembered: on the phone, a few days before, we’d said goodbye.
I believed then – and still do – that God was present in my remembering