My favorite Aunt is now receiving inpatient hospice care. Her doctors say she will not live much longer, though of course only God knows when He will actually call her home.
My Aunt became a Christian decades ago and was fairly active in her church when she was younger. Sadly, during her long struggles with dementia, heart disease, and the loss of her sight and hearing, she also lost touch with her church’s congregation.
But my belief is that she did not lose touch with God.
Last summer she spent many days in her back yard in long conversations with a Hydrangea bush that had been a gift from her Mother, my grandmother, before my grandmother’s passing.
My Aunt had led my grandmother to Jesus late in life — much to the dismay of many non-Christian family members — and the two of them often spent time praying together and talking about Jesus during my grandmother’s final years.
I still remember their Pastor coming into my 91 year old grandmother’s hospital room shortly before her passing, and with an absolutely joyful demeanor teasing my grandmother about making him perform an extra service during Holy week. It was the last time, and in fact the only time in months, that I’d seen my grandmother smile … and I – not a Christian at the time – watched dumbfounded from the corner as my grandmother, my Aunt, and their Pastor celebrated communion and prayed together in what seemed like an almost festive spirit.
I didn’t understand that at all. At the time I believed that all religion was a hoax.
Yesterday I was talking with my cousin, my Aunt’s youngest child, and we discovered an amazing thing. Although we had never spoken about faith with one another – at all – it turns out that we’d both had exactly the same dream about my Aunt’s passing into God’s Eternal realm. In the dream we’d both had, it was a peaceful and glorious transition.
For the first time ever, my cousin and I prayed together … praising God, thanking Him for the gift of my Aunt’s life on Earth, and praying that His will be done.
Update: My Aunt left this world to go to be with God several hours after I wrote this.