It was 2 am and I awoke to the guidance of God. I knew I needed to get up and go to the nursing home immediately. I left my husband a note that I was going to see Grace.
I had been visiting Grace for two years. I met her while visiting my grandfather, and after he passed away, continued for another year. Three times a week I went to visit. Often times my daughter would come with me. She was three years old and loved Grace. Grace…had grace. She was kind and beautiful to the core of her being. I absolutely adored her. She had a thousand reasons to complain but always greeted me with a smile and never once did I hear anything from her lips but gratitutde. She often wore the beaded necklace my daughter made for her which thrilled my daughter beyond words.
I remember Grace’s hand. I remember the feel of her fingers and the size of her hand in mine. I remember the chair I sat in next to her and all the things we talked about and the moments of silence where presence was all that was needed. I truly loved her.
At 2 am I left the house and arrived at the nursing home 15 minutes later. I knew the code to the building and entered unnoticed. I walked straight to Grace’s room and knew her time was near. Her breathing was labored but as I put my hand in hers she moved her fingers around it. Her eyes were closed. I felt the Lord there and I remember now as I did then. It was the most beautiful, powerful feeling I had ever experienced. So I started to sing. I sang all the hymns I remembered from church. I said the Lord’s prayer. Mostly I sang. I don’t know why I felt so compelled to sing but I did. I was only there for 10 minutes or so before she passed. It was the most beautiful 1o minutes of my life aside from holding my daughter for the first time.
Grace had not spoken in days nor had she opened her eyes. but in that moment, she opened her eyes, smiled, and went with the Lord. I cried tears of joy at the gift I had been given to be present for this precious soul. Then I called her daughter to let her know that Grace was not alone. Not by any means was Grace alone.
I became a chaplain after that. How could I not.