To all of you, each and every one:
It surprises me, now, to read Pam’s last post. The part that surprises me is that she wrote it just five days ago. In those five days Pam has really unravelled. That is, her functioning has unravelled. At this point she’s asleep most of the time. She rarely speaks, and when she speaks her voice is so soft it doesn’t even qualify for a whisper.
Pam is no longer interested in eating or drinking (and that is a pretty significant sign!). She calls for morphine every few hours or so. It is, to be cliche, only a matter of time. How much time has she got? Let’s put it this way: I promised she would be surrounded by love when she died and I’ve been putting calls out all day. She’s surrounded by love now.
Fr. Colletti was here about an hour ago to anoint her. There were about eight of us in the room along with him, and we all gathered around Pam’s bed to pray. She wasn’t able to respond at all, not so as you’d notice — but I know better. Pam is responding to everything that’s happening around her — you’d just have to know her to detect it. I told you that she’s declined, but that’s only in the physical sense. Her spirit is as strong as ever — maybe it’s stronger than ever!
When she does garner enough strength to speak, the words she speaks most often are ‘thank you’. It’s been quite a journey over these past fourteen months, and Pam has always described it as a journey with Jesus. I’m a believer. I’m more than happy to testify that Jesus has been along side her, along side all of us, every single moment.
Jesus has been with her, but — let me tell you — she hasn’t always been to happy with the Big Guy. Pam had fifty seven years to plot her own journeys; but this last journey has been navigated by the Lord entirely. He’s chosen every turn. Pam hasn’t even been consulted, and Pam has never been the sort to suffer that sort of treatment well.
Are you surprised to learn that Jesus plotted her a path of suffering and loss. Frankly, that pissed Pam off — but she’s not pissed off now. She’s grateful. She’s grateful for her life, her very full life; a life full of joy and satisfaction, and full of suffering and disappointment. She’s been journeying with the Lord and he’s taken charge of all the arrangements along the way. He’s taught her what He knows better than anyone — he’s taught her to pray that God’s will be done.
It’s been a hard lesson, but having finally mastered it, Pam has come to enjoy the blessing of gratitude. How do I know? I can feel it in the way she holds my hand. I can feel it in the way she strokes my cheek. I know the touch of a grateful person, and that’s the touch she’s touching me with now.
So, we’re currently — to put it bluntly — on death watch. There are plenty of people watching right here — but you don’t have to be one of them in order to watch. I’ve decided to keep this blog ‘live’ while I’m watching her climb into Abraham’s lap — that way you can watch too.