I got to visit with my friend today. It was unexpected but it had been arranged that us ladies who are in the women's Bible study (which until last week was led by her) could come and visit her at home this morning. So we did our discussion in class and then took our song sheets over to her house for a time of worship. I count it a privilege to be included in this time of her life. She is completely surrounded by family (she has 7 children of her own and a couple dozen grandchildren) and friends who pop in and out all day and folks are bringing food for the family all day. It is amazing to see a family, loving friends and a church body working as it should. Coming around someone they love, pouring themselves out in caring and provision and just being there for them. Anyway, we got to worship with my friend and chat and laugh and hug and yes, tears were shed, and it was wonderful. Showing her true quality and beauty and humor my friend insisted on standing and hugging everyone who came and went. When someone wanted to know what song she wanted to next she once jokingly suggested "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" which she promptly started belting out complete with hand motions. And every once in a while she would suddenly burst out about how much she knows that her husband is looking forward to seeing her, how she can picture him standing and cheering her on saying "Come on, hurry up!" and of course, how badly she wants to see him, her "Precious One".
The cancer has spread quickly. She now has it in other parts of her body and is experiencing some pain now and again, and she can't get her words out all of the time. I still hold onto a hope that she will get to meet my new baby but I've also come to a peace if it isn't to be so.
Yesterday I told Gabe about my friend's health. I sat him down and explained to him that "Ms. Wanna" as he calls her has a sick part in her mind, her brain and that the doctors can't fix it. She will need to go see Jesus who will fix her up like new but that means that she will go to Heaven and we won't get to see her for a while. Fortunately or unfortunately my son is familiar with this concept as we lost my young nephew at the age of five, Gabe was 2 and we all still talk about my nephew frequently. Gabe now understands that those in Heaven can't come visit (he asked about that a lot for a while) so he told me that we would just go to Heaven to see Ms. Wanna later. I told him we most definitely would go see her in Heaven later and that it was OK to be sad if we miss her now. He took it better than I expected though I know he can't fully comprehend it now, I'm not even sure I can yet.